216,000 jobs added in December, unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 216,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%.

Job gains occurred in government, health care, social assistance, and construction, while transportation and warehousing lost jobs.

Government employment increased by 52,000 in December. Employment continued to trend up in local government (+37,000) and federal government (+7,000). Government added an average of 56,000 jobs per month in 2023, more than double the average monthly gain of 23,000 in 2022.

In December, health care added 38,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend up in ambulatory health care services (+19,000) and hospitals (+15,000). Job growth in health care averaged 55,000 per month in 2023, compared with the 2022 monthly gain of 46,000.

Employment in social assistance rose by 21,000 in December, mostly in individual and family services (+17,000). Social assistance employment rose by an average of 22,000 per month in 2023, little different than the average increase of 19,000 per month in 2022.

Construction employment continued to trend up (+17,000). Employment in nonresidential building construction increased by 8,000. Construction added an average of 16,000 jobs per month in 2023, little different than the 2022 average monthly gain of 22,000.

Employment in transportation and warehousing declined by 23,000 in December (+23,000). Couriers and messengers lost 32,000 jobs, while air transportation added 4,000 jobs. Since reaching a peak in October 2022, employment in transportation and warehousing has decreased by 100,000.

Read the BLS release.

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