U.S. Economy Adds 148,000 Jobs in December 2017 and More than Two Million Jobs for Entire Year

BLS Jobs Report

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs while the unemployment rate and number of unemployed persons remained unchanged to 4.1 percent and 6.6 million in December 2017, according to the Employment Situation released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Employment Situation for December revealed an increase for labor in health care, construction, manufacturing, food services and drinking places, and professional and business services. In 2017, payroll employment growth totaled 2.1 million jobs, compared with a gain of 2.2 million jobs in 2016.

  • Health care employment increased by 31,000 jobs in December and has added 300,000 jobs in 2017, compared with a gain of 379,000 jobs in 2016.
  • Construction employment added 30,000 jobs in December and increased by 210,000 jobs in 2017.
  • Manufacturing employment rose by 25,000 jobs and added 196,000 jobs in 2017 following little net change in 2016.
  • Food services and drinking places employment added 25,000 jobs in December and added 249,000 jobs in 2017, about in line with 2016.
  • Professional and business services employment increased by 19,000 jobs in December and added an average of 44,000 jobs per month in 2017, in line with its average monthly gain in 2016.

Retail trade employment lost 20,000 jobs in December and lost 67,000 jobs in 2017 after increasing by 203,000 jobs in 2016. Employment in mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, changed little over the month.

The change in employment for October 2017 was revised from 244,000 to 211,000 jobs added while November 2017 was revised from 228,000 to 252,000 jobs added. With the revisions, employment gains in these two months were 9,000 jobs less than previously reported.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.63 in December and by 65 cents, or 2.5 percent, over the year. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.30 in December.

The Employment Situation is usually released on the first Friday of every month. The Employment Situation for January 2018 is scheduled to be released on February 2, 2018. Until then, the most recent Employment Situation is available at www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm (PDF).

Effective with the release of the Employment Situation for January 2018, new population controls will be used in the household survey estimation process and the establishment survey will introduce revisions to nonfarm payroll employment, hours, and earnings data.

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