December 2019 Jobs Report Shows U.S. Economy Added 145,000 Jobs in Month

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The United States economy added 145,000 jobs in December 2019 while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.5 percent during the month, according to the jobs report for December 2019 released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The jobs report for December 2019 showed the number of unemployed persons remained unchanged at 5.8 million, while job gains occurred in retail trade, leisure and hospitality health care, construction, and professional and business services. Here are the specific job gains during the month.

  • Retail trade employment added 41,000 jobs in December 2019 after adding only 9,000 jobs in 2019 and 14,000 jobs in 2018.
  • Leisure and hospitality employment rose by 40,000 jobs in December 2019 after adding 388,000 jobs in 2019 and 359,000 jobs in 2018.
  • Health care employment increased by 28,000 jobs in December 2019 after adding 399,000 jobs in 2019 and 350,000 jobs in 2018.
  • Construction employment increased by 20,000 jobs in December 2019 after adding 151,000 jobs in 2019 and 307,000 jobs in 2018.
  • Professional and business services employment gained 10,000 jobs in December 2019 after adding 397,000 jobs in 2019 and 561,000 jobs in 2018.

On the negative side, manufacturing employment lost 12,000 jobs, transportation and warehousing employment lost 10,000 jobs, and mining employment lost 8,000 jobs in December 2019. Employment in wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and government showed little change over the month.

The change in employment for October 2019 was revised from 156,000 jobs added to 152,000 jobs added while November 2019 was revised from 266,000 jobs added to 256,000 jobs added. With these revisions, gains in October 2019 and November 2019 combined were 14,000 less than previously reported.

The jobs report is usually released on the first Friday of every month. The jobs report for January 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 7, 2020. Until then, the most recent jobs report will be available at www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm (PDF).

A survey of how HR professionals use background screening released in May 2019 by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) – formerly the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – revealed 96 percent of employers conduct background checks on job applicants.

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