Friday, January 09, 2015

December Employment Report: 252,000 Jobs, 5.6% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 1/09/2015 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 252,000 in December, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised from +243,000 to +261,000, and the change for November was revised from +321,000 to +353,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November were 50,000 higher than previously reported.
Payroll jobs added per monthClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the monthly change in payroll jobs, ex-Census (meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed - mostly in 2010 - to show the underlying payroll changes).

Eleven consecutive months over 200 thousand.

Employment is now up 2.952 million year-over-year.

Here is a table of the annual change in total nonfarm, private and public sector payrolls jobs since 1997. For total employment, 2014 was the best year since 1999.

For private employment, 2014 was the best year since 1997.

Change in Payroll Jobs per Year (000s)
Total, NonfarmPrivatePublic
19973,4083,213195
19983,0032,734313
19993,1772,716461
20001,9461,682264
2001-1,735-2,286551
2002-508-741233
2003105147-42
20042,0331,886147
20052,5062,320186
20062,0851,876209
20071,140852288
2008-3,576-3,756180
2009-5,087-5,013-74
20101,0581,277-219
20112,0832,400-317
20122,2362,294-58
20132,3312,365-34
20142,9522,86191

unemployment rateThe second graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

The Labor Force Participation Rate declined in December to 62.7%. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.   A large portion of the recent decline in the participation rate is due to demographics.

The Employment-Population ratio was unchanged at 59.2% (black line).

I'll post the 25 to 54 age group employment-population ratio graph later.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment ratesThe third graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate declined in December to 5,6%.

This was above expectations of 245,000, and with the upward revisions to prior months, this was another strong report.

I'll have much more later ...