Job Growth Decreased for the Month of December

[Update on February 9: January’s Economic Situation Report updated December’s preliminary numbers. These changes will be reflected in January’s job post]

The Economic Situation released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on January 9 revealed a net growth of 252,000 jobs in December 2014, a decrease of 101,000 jobs over November’s monthly employment growth.

December’s job growth marks a 28.6% decrease from November’s revised employment number of 353,000 new jobs, and a 3.4% decrease from October’s revised number of 261,000 jobs. Combined, revisions for October and November were 50,000 more than previously reported. In 2014, job growth averaged 246,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 194,000 jobs in 2013.

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to reach 5.6% in December, while the number of unemployed persons fell to 8.7 million, a decrease of 383,000 jobs. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.1 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.

Job gains for the month occurred in professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.

In December, professional and business services rose by 52,000 jobs, slightly below the average monthly gain of 61,000 for 2014. Employment increased in administrative and waste services by 35,000 jobs, computer systems design and related services grew by 9,000, and architectural and engineering services increased by 5,000 jobs. Employment in accounting and bookkeeping services declined by 14,000 jobs, the same amount of jobs added in November.

The construction industry was the second largest gainer with 48,000 jobs accrued in December, well above the employment gains in recent months. Specialty trade contractors added 26,000 jobs, equally split between residential and nonresidential contractors. Employment also increased in heavy and civil engineering construction (12,000) and in nonresidential building (10,000).

Gains also occurred in food services and drinking places (44,000), health care (34,000) and manufacturing (17,000).

Category: Employment News

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