Friday, January 05, 2018

December Employment Report: 148,000 Jobs Added, 4.1% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 1/05/2018 08:42:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 148,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment gains occurred in health care, construction, and manufacturing.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised down from +244,000 to +211,000, and the change for November was revised up from +228,000 to +252,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November combined were 9,000 less than previously reported.
...
In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.63. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5 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 148 thousand in December (private payrolls increased 146 thousand).

Payrolls for October and November were revised down by a combined 9 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 2.055 million jobs.

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

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates The Labor Force Participation Rate was unchanged in December at 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 60.1% (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 was unchanged in December at 4.1%. 

This was below consensus expectations of 190,000 jobs, and the previous two months combined were revised down slightly.

I'll have much more later ...