Friday, January 08, 2010

Employment Report: 85K Jobs Lost, 10% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 1/08/2010 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-85,000) in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment fell in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.
Employment Measures and Recessions Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the unemployment rate and the year over year change in employment vs. recessions.

Nonfarm payrolls decreased by 85,000 in December. The economy has lost almost 4.2 million jobs over the last year, and 7.24 million jobs1 since the beginning of the current employment recession.

The unemployment rate was steady at 10.0 percent. Year over year employment is declining, but still strongly negative.

Percent Job Losses During Recessions The second graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms (as opposed to the number of jobs lost).

For the current recession, employment peaked in December 2007, and this recession is the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only early '80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse).

The 85,000 jobs lost was in line with other indicators (like ADP, weekly initial claims, ISM reports). The BLS is now reporting a small increase in payroll jobs in November (4,000), however that is because October was revised down by 16,000 jobs!

1Note: The total jobs lost does not include the preliminary benchmark payroll revision of minus 824,000 jobs. (This is the preliminary estimate of the annual revision that will be announced early in 2010).

Last 10 Posts