199,000 Jobs Added in December, Unemployment Rate at 3.9%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 199,000 in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total unemployed persons fell to 6.3 million in December, and the unemployment rate decreased to 3.9%.

Most of the job gains in December were in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing.

Employment in leisure and hospitality rose in December (+53,000). Leisure and hospitality added 2.6 million jobs in 2021, although employment in the industry is down by 1.2 million since February 2020. Employment in food services and drinking places rose in December (+43,000) but is down by 653,000 since February 2020.

Employment in professional and business services grew in December (+43,000 Employment in professional and business services overall is slightly below its level in February 2020.

Employment in manufacturing rose by 26,000 jobs in December, primarily in durable goods industries. Job gains in machinery (+8,000) reflected the return of workers from a strike. Manufacturing employment is down by 219,000 since February 2020.

The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.9%. Persons on temporary layoff was little changed at 812,000 in December. This measure is down considerably from the high of 18.0 million in April 2020. Workers with permanent job loss declined to 1.7 million.

Read the BLS release.

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