The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the December 2019 US jobs data on January 10th.
Here is the summary:
- Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 145,000 in December, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.5%
- Notable job gains occurred in retail trade (+41,000 jobs) and health care (+28,000)
- Other job updates include leisure and hospitality (+40,000), construction (+20,000), and professional and business services (+10,000)
- Some industries witnessed negative growth, including mining (-8,000), transportation and warehousing (-10,000), and manufacturing (-12,000)
The unemployment rate remained at 3.5% and is the lowest it has been in 50 years, with the number of unemployed persons at 5.8 million. In comparison, this time last year the jobless rate was 3.9% and 6.3 million people were unemployed. There was little to no change in employment for major worker groups. The unemployment rates were 3.1% for adult men, 3.2% for adult women, and 12.6% for teenagers. In addition, Whites remained at 3.2%, Blacks at 5.9%, Asians at 2.5%, and Hispanics at 4.2%.
The BLS noted the change in total non-farm payroll employment for October and November were revised down 14,000. This includes 4,000 down from October – from +156,000 jobs to +152,000, as well as 10,000 down in November – from +266,000 jobs to +256,000.
Wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and government saw little changes in December.
The average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 3 cents to $28.32, an increase of 2.9 percent over the last 12 months.
Overall, while there are new job additions, the unchanged unemployment rate, decrease in certain sectors, and job revisions are reasons to keep cautious.
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