Friday, January 06, 2017

December Employment Report: 156,000 Jobs, 4.7% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 1/06/2017 08:49:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 156,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth occurred in health care and social assistance.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised down from +142,000 to +135,000, and the change for November was revised up from +178,000 to +204,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November were 19,000 higher than previously reported.
...
In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 10 cents to $26.00, after edging down by 2 cents in November. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.9 percent.
emphasis added
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).

Total payrolls increased by 156 thousand in December (private payrolls increased 144 thousand).

Payrolls for October and November were revised up by a combined 19 thousand.

Year-over-year change employmentThis graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In December, the year-over-year change was 2.16 million jobs.  This has been moving down, but still a solid year-over-year gain.


The third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates The Labor Force Participation Rate increased 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 59.7% (black line).

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

unemployment rateThe fourth graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate increased in December to 4.7%.

This was below expectations of 175,000 jobs, however the previous two months were revised up.  And there was a pickup in wage growth.  Another solid report.

I'll have much more later ...