December 2018 Jobs Report Reveals 312,000 Jobs Added to U.S. Economy

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The United States economy added 312,000 jobs in December 2018 while the unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent during the month, according to the “Employment Situation” jobs report for December 2018 released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

December 2018 Jobs Report

The December 2018 jobs report revealed employment rose by 2.6 million in 2018 compared with 2.2 million in 2017. The number of unemployed persons rose to 6.3 million while job gains occurred in health care, professional and business services, food services and drinking places, construction, manufacturing, and retail trade.

  • Health care employment rose by 50,000 jobs in December 2018 and increased by 346,000 jobs in 2018, more than the gain of 284,000 jobs in 2017.
  • Professional and business services employment gained 43,000 jobs in December 2018 and added 583,000 jobs in 2018, outpacing the 458,000 jobs added in 2017.
  • Food services and drinking places employment increased by 41,000 jobs in December 2018 and added 235,000 jobs in 2018, similar to the increase of 261,000 jobs in 2017.
  • Construction employment rose by 38,000 jobs in December 2018 and added 280,000 jobs in 2018, compared with an increase of 250,000 jobs in 2017.
  • Manufacturing employment added 32,000 jobs in December 2018 and increased by 284,000 jobs in 2018 compared to adding 207,000 jobs in 2017.
  • Retail trade employment added 24,000 jobs in December 2018 and increased by 92,000 jobs in 2018, after a loss of 29,000 jobs in 2017.

Employment in other major industries including mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month, according to the December 2018 jobs report.

The change in employment for November 2018 was revised from 155,000 jobs added to 176,000 jobs added while October 2018 was revised from 237,000 jobs added to 274,000 jobs added. With these revisions, job gains in October and November were 58,000 more than previously reported.

The jobs report is usually released on the first Friday of every month. The jobs report for January 2019 is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 1, 2019. Until then, the most recent jobs report will be available at (PDF).

A survey of HR professionals released in May 2018 by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – a non-profit trade organization representing the background screening industry – revealed that 95 percent of employers conduct background checks on job applicants.

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