Friday, January 7, 2011

The U.S. (Un)Employment Situation for December

This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the December nonfarm payroll employment numbers and unemployment rate for December. The news is generally good: employment rose by 103,000 jobs over the previous month, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.4 percentage point to 9.4 percent in December. The largest employment increases from November occurred in leisure and hospitality (+47,000) and health care (+36,000).

Since December 2009, total payroll employment has increased by 1.1 million, or an average of 94,000 jobs per month.

Even with these improvements, the monthly numbers show that there were still 1.3 million discouraged workers nationwide in December. The ranks of those who have stopped jobseeking activity has grown by 389,000 since December 2009.

Additional details are available in the full press release.

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