140,000 Jobs Lost in December

Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total unemployed persons were unchanged at 10.6 million in December. Unemployment was unchanged at 6.7%.

Job losses in leisure and hospitality and in private education were partially offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, and construction.

Employment in leisure and hospitality declined by 498,000, with three- quarters of the decrease in food services and drinking places (-372,000). Employment also fell in the amusements, gambling, and recreation industry (-92,000) and in the accommodation industry (-24,000). Since February, employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 3.9 million, or 23.2%.

Government employment declined by 45,000 in December. Employment in the component of local government that excludes education declined by 32,000, and state government education lost 20,000 jobs. Federal government employment increased by 6,000. Since February, government employment overall is down by 1.3 million.

The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.5%. The number of workers on temporary layoff increased by 277,000 in December to 3.0 million. Workers with permanent job loss declined by 348,000 to 3.4 million. Workers unemployed less than 5 weeks increased by 449,000 to 2.9 million.

Average hourly earnings rose by 23 cents to $29.81.

Read the BLS release.