Friday, January 04, 2019

December Employment Report: 312,000 Jobs Added, 3.9% Unemployment Rate

by Calculated Risk on 1/04/2019 08:43:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 312,000 in December, and the unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, food services and drinking places, construction, manufacturing, and retail trade.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up from +155,000 to +176,000, and the change for October was revised up from +237,000 to +274,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November combined were 58,000 more than previously reported.
...
In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 11 cents to $27.48. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 84 cents, or 3.2 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 312 thousand in December (private payrolls increased 301 thousand).

Payrolls for October and November were revised up 58 thousand combined.

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 2.638 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 increased in December to 63.1%. 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 and long term trends.

The Employment-Population ratio was unchanged at 60.6% (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 3.9%. 

This was well above the consensus expectations of 180,000 jobs added, and October and November were revised up 58,000, combined.  A strong report.

I'll have much more later ...