Friday’s release of the December Employment Situation Summary by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a net increase of 155,800 non-farm payroll jobs to the U.S. economy in December; meanwhile the unemployment rate remained unchanged from November’s revised calculation at 7.8%.
The private sector gained a total of 168,800 net jobs in the month, with the most significant gains in the construction sector, the health care sector, and the manufacturing sector.
The government sector dropped 13,000 net jobs, with the largest loss in local governments, particularly within the education subsector.
December marked the 34th consecutive month of job growth within the private sector.
In addition, the October and November numbers of net increases in non-farm jobs were also revised from +138,000 to +137,000 and from +146,000 to +161,000, respectively.
At approximately 1.1 million, the number of discouraged workers, those who have stopped searching for employment because they do not believe there is a job opportunity available for them remained virtually unchanged from December 2011. The number of workers marginally attached to the labor force, those who had looked for employment over the past 12 months, but had not done so over the past four weeks, remained unchanged from December 2011 at 2.6 million.
The number of long-term unemployed, those out of work for longer than 27 weeks, had little change at 4.8 million. 39.1% of persons who were unemployed in December were within the long-term unemployed category.
The number of involuntarily part-time workers, those that are part time due to the economic situation forcing their hours to be cut back or their inability to find full time employment, also remained unchanged to a total of 7.9 million.
Following is an approximate breakdown of net job growth within the major private industry sectors and the government sector for December:
• Construction: +30,000
• Financial Activities: +9,000
• Education and Health Services: +65,000
• Information: -9,000
• Leisure and Hospitality: +31,000
• Manufacturing: +25,000
• Mining and Logging: +4,000
• Other Services: +5,000
• Professional and Business Services: +19,000
• Retail: -11,300
• Transportation and Warehousing: -600
• Utilities: +1,800
• Wholesale Trade: -100
• Government: -13,000
Overall, the average work week in December for private sector non-farm jobs increased slightly by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours, while the manufacturing sector average work week increased slightly by 0.1 hours to 40.7 hours. The average hourly earnings for all private non-farm employees rose by 7 cents to $23.73.
Alan Krueger, who chairs the White House Council of Economic Advisers stated on Friday in his blog on whitehouse.gov,
“Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.
“With the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act earlier this week, more than 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses now have certainty that their income taxes will not rise. Additionally, unemployment insurance was extended for two million Americans who are searching for a job, and companies will continue to receive tax credits for the research that they do and continue to have tax incentives to accelerate investment in their businesses. By allowing income tax cuts for the top 2 percent of earners to expire, this legislation further reduces the deficit by $737 billion over the next decade. It is important that we continue to move toward a sustainable federal budget in a responsible way that balances revenue and spending while protecting critical investments in the economy and essential support for our most vulnerable citizens.”
Krueger, Alan. “The Employment Situation in December.” whitehouse.gov. The White House. 4 January 2013. Web. 4 January 2013.
The “January 2013 Employment Situation Summary” will be released on Friday, February 1, 2013.
Employment Data Source:
“Employment Situation Summary.” bls.gov. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 4 January 2013. Web. 4 January 2013.