312,000 Jobs Added in December, Unemployment Rate rises to 3.9 percent

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 312,000 in December, an increase from last month’s upwardly revised reading of 176,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate rose from 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent.

Private service-providing industries gained 227,000 jobs, led by education and health services, which added 82,000 jobs.

Goods-producing employment rose by 74,000 jobs during the month, as gains in manufacturing led by adding 32,000. Construction employment gained 38,000 jobs in December.

The civilian labor force participation rate ticked up to 63.1 percent. Workers unemployed for less than 14 weeks increased by 183,000. The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, increased by 47,000 and accounted for 20.5 percent of the unemployed. The number of discouraged workers was 375,000, down 99,000 from a year earlier.

Average hourly earnings rose by 11 cents, settling at $27.48. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen by 84 cents, or 3.1%.

Read the BLS release.

 

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About Author

Hugo Dante

Hugo Dante is a research associate in the Economic Policy and Research group at the ABA.