- December’s Employment Situation Summary was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, January 10, 2020 -
The Unemployment Rate
In December, the unemployment rate held at 3.5 percent and the number of unemployed persons was unchanged at 5.8 million.
Establishment Survey Highlights
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 145,000. Notable job gains occurred in retail trade and health care, while mining lost jobs. In 2019, payroll employment rose by 2.1 million, down from a gain of 2.7 million in 2018.
Employment in healthcare increased by 28,000. Ambulatory healthcare services and hospitals added jobs over the month (23,000+ and 9,000+, respectively). Healthcare added 399,000 jobs in 2019, compared with an increase of 350,000 in 2018.
Employment in professional and business services showed little change (10,000+). The industry added 397,000 jobs in 2019, down from an increase of 561,000 jobs in 2018.
Cassie Galiskis, Eastridge Area Operations Manager of Professional Staffing, notes, “Eastridge's professional teams found December to be an extremely competitive job market with no holiday slowdown. Several executive placements were made across various industries including financial services, biotech, pharma, and technology. Additionally, we continued to see a high demand for specialized sales and marketing professionals, legal professionals at all levels, and HR executives.”
Manufacturing employment was little changed in December (-12,000). Employment in the industry changed little in 2019 (46,000+), after increasing in 2018 (264,000+).
Other Major Industries
In December, employment showed little change in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and government.
Average Hourly Earnings
In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $28.32. Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.9 percent. In December, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees, at $23.79, were little changed (2 cents+).
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