Workplace Trends

U.S. Economy Adds 155,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Unchanged

By Lee Hecht Harrison on January 4, 2013

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that 155,000 jobs were added in December. The U.S. economy has seen 27 straight months of consecutive job growth. In 2012, growth has averaged 153,000 jobs per month.

Unemployment remained unchanged at 7.8 percent. In December there was little change in the number of long-term unemployed (those out of work for 27 weeks or more), which stands at 4.8 million and accounts for 39.1 percent of the unemployed. In December, 2.6 million workers were reported as marginally attached to the workforce but not counted in the unemployment numbers because they hadn’t looked for work in the four weeks preceding the survey. Of those marginally attached, 1.1 million are discouraged and believe no jobs are available to them.

Hiring rose in healthcare, food services, construction and manufacturing:

  • Health care added 45,000 jobs in December. Job gains continued in ambulatory health care services (+23,000), hospitals (+12,000) and in nursing and residential care facilities (+10,000). In 2012, employment in health care has risen by 338,000.
  • Manufacturing added 25,000 jobs in December, with small gains in a number of component industries. In 2012, factory employment increased by 180,000 with most growth occuring in the first quarter.
  • Construction added 30,000 jobs in December, with gains in construction of buildings (+13,000) and in residential specialty trade contractors (+12,000).
  • Food services and drinking places added 38,000 jobs in December. In 2012, the industry added an average of 24,000 jobs a month.

Employment numbers were revised up for November, from +146,000 to +161,000.

Source: BLS


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