December Employment Situation Shows 156,000 Jobs Added to Economy

 BLS Jobs Report

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The United States economy added 156,000 jobs in December of 2016 while the unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 4.7 percent, according to the Employment Situation report released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report revealed the number of unemployed persons in the U.S. increased to 7.5 million in December of 2016. Overall, job growth totaled 2.2 million in 2016, less than the increase of 2.7 million in 2015. The following industries all saw job growth in the past month:

  • Health care employment rose by 43,000 jobs in December 2016. Health care added an average of 35,000 jobs per month in 2016, roughly in line with the average monthly gain of 39,000 jobs in 2015.
  • Food services and drinking places employment continued to trend up in December with 30,000 jobs added. This industry added 247,000 jobs in 2016, fewer than the 359,000 jobs gained in 2015.
  • Social assistance employment added 20,000 jobs in December 2016. In 2016, social assistance added 92,000 jobs, down from an increase of 162,000 in 2015.
  • Manufacturing employment edged up in December 2016 with 17,000 jobs added. However, since reaching a recent peak in January 2016, manufacturing employment has declined by 63,000 jobs.
  • Transportation and warehousing employment also continued to trend up in December 2016 with 15,000 jobs added. In 2016, transportation and warehousing added 62,000 jobs, down from a gain of 110,000 jobs in 2015.
  • Professional and business services employment also added 15,000 jobs in December 2016. The industry added 522,000 jobs in 2016.
  • Financial activities employment continued on an upward trend in December 2016 with 13,000 jobs added. This is in line with the average monthly gains for the industry over the past 2 years.
  • Employment in other major industries including mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, and government, changed little in December 2016.

The employment situation for October 2016 was revised from 142,000 to 135,000 jobs while the November 2016 was revised from 178,000 to 204,000 jobs. With the revisions, employment gains in October and November were 19,000 jobs higher than previously reported.

The Employment Situation report is usually released on the first Friday of every month. The Employment Situation for January 2017 is scheduled to be released on February 3, 2017. Until then, the latest report will be available at www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf.

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