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 http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf 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.