The U.S. economy added 292,000 jobs in December, the government announced Friday morning, meeting analysts' predictions for strong and steady growth.
The unemployment rate held at 5 percent.
The new data provides the first complete measuring stick for the labor market in 2015, a year in which the nation contended with volatile oil prices, a major slowdown in China and modest growth at home. The labor market for several years has been the bright spot in the U.S. economy, even though wage growth has remained tepid.
The December report marks the U.S. economy's second-best year of job growth since 1999, adding roughly 210,000 new positions per month. Only in 2014, when the nation's payroll expanded monthly by an average of 260,000, was the mark higher. Meantime, the unemployment rate stands at its lowest point in more than seven years.
Still, there are signs from farther afield that are causing concern among economists and investors. New information about a Chinese economic slowdown, coupled with Beijing's currency devaluation, this week caused a route in global markets. The Dow Jones Industrial average has tumbled more than 5 percent in the first four days of trading this week.