According to ‘THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION – DECEMBER 2011’ from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, total nonfarm payroll employment added 200,000 jobs in December 2011 with most gains occurring in transportation and warehousing, retail trade, manufacturing, and health care. In addition, the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October 2011 was revised from a gain of 100,000 jobs up to 112,000 jobs while the change for November 2011 was revised from a gain of 120,000 jobs down to 100,000 jobs. The Employment Situation for December 2011 will be available at until the Employment Situation for January 2011 is released on Friday, February 3, 2012. In December 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, and the  unemployment rate has declined by 0.6 percentage point since August 2011. The number of unemployed persons, now at 13.1 million, also continued to trend down. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 200,000 in December 2011 and has risen by 1.6 million over the past 12 months, while employment in the private sector rose by 212,000 in December 2011 and by 1.9 million over the year. Specifically, employment rose in a number of industries including:

  • Transportation and warehousing: Employment rose sharply in December 2011 and added 50,000 jobs, with almost all of the gain occurring in the couriers and messengers industry, which added 42,000 jobs.
  • Retail trade: This industry continued to grow in December 2011, with a gain of 28,000 jobs in general merchandise stores and in clothing stores, and employment has increased by 240,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
  • Manufacturing: Employment expanded by 23,000 jobs in December 2011, following 4 months of little change, with increases in transportation equipment, fabricated metals, and machinery.
  • Health care: Employment is this sector added 23,000 jobs in December 2011, with employment in hospitals increasing by 10,000 jobs, and has risen by 315,000 jobs over the year.
  • Leisure and hospitality: Employment continued to trend up in December 2011 with the addition of 24,000 jobs and food services and drinking places have added 230,000 jobs over the year.
  • Mining: Employment rose by 7,000 jobs in December 2011 and has added 89,000 jobs over the year.
In addition, the Employment Situation for December 2011 showed that employment in construction, professional and business services, and Government changed little during the month. The strong Employment Situation for December 2011 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics comes on heels of an even more positive outlook on jobs from the December 2011 ADP National Employment Report® from Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP®). The ADP report found private sector employment had increased by 365,000 jobs from November 2011 to December 2011, the largest monthly gain since last December 2010. The ADP report revealed that ‘Small’ businesses (1-49 employees) led the way with a gain of 148,000 jobs, ‘Medium’ businesses (50-499 employees) expanded by 140,000 jobs, and ‘Large’ businesses (more than 499 employees) added 37,000 jobs. The ADP report for December 2011 is available at: The recent rise in hiring also means a rise in the need for background checks of job applicants by employers to avoid negligent hiring lawsuits caused by “bad hires” too unfit, unqualified, dishonest, or dangerous for the positions to which they apply. For more information on implementing a Safe Hiring Program (SHP) to protect employers, employees, and the public, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a nationwide background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – at or call ESR Toll Free 888.999.4474. Sources: About Employment Screening Resources (ESR): Founded in 1997 in the San Francisco, CA area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by ESR Founder and CEO Lester Rosen. ESR streamlines the screening process and reduces administrative overhead though its proprietary technology solutions.  ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), a distinction held by less than two percent of all screening firms. This important recognition was achieved by successfully passing a third party audit demonstrating compliance with the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit or call toll free 888.999.4474.  About ESR News: The Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected].]]>