I made a list, checked it twice. Here is what you need to know about the December Jobs Report.
Lots of Jobs Added
- The Labor Department reported that US employers added 252,000 jobs in December 2015.
- It also added 50,000 previously unreported jobs to the October and November Jobs report.
- One area for expected growth is the auto industry, with car sales increasing 6% in 2015 and forecasted to come close to record levels set in 2000 for cars sold.
- Professional and business services had the largest increase of any sector with 73,000 added jobs. There were 45,000 construction jobs added to the US last month.
- Healthcare added 39,000 jobs.
- Transportation and warehousing added 23,000 jobs.
- Flexible, part time, or temporary employment has been one of the biggest areas of growth for employment. 34,000 of the professional and business services jobs added were temporary, likely related to holiday season hiring.
- Some economists believe the increase may be related to record warm temperatures.
Unemployment Rate Is Low
- The unemployment rate reached a six year low to 5%.
- It’s unclear if the unemployment rate went down because of hiring or because people stopped looking for work. (The unemployment rate excludes people who have stopped looking for work.) The number of workers considered out of the labor force dropped to 94.1 million, and while this is the lowest since August 2015, it is a 17% gain since December 2008.
- Unemployment rates in Europe are nearly double the rate of the US rate.
- One reason the unemployment rate stayed so low last month may be because there was so much seasonal hiring.
- Job postings took a small dip in December, but that is relatively normal for December, with so many people taking vacations. January is expected to be one of the best times to be looking for a job and have a boost in labor demand. However, one major caveat to this is that different markets and regions vary drastically with hiring trends, with The New York Times reporting that one Nashville, TN based company reported the biggest growth it has had in years.
Hourly Pay Is Stagnant
- Average hourly pay went down despite the positive job growth to $25.24 an hour and it is barely staying ahead of inflation.
- While wage increase has slowed in employee demands in the last few years, other benefits requests have become more popular such as paid parental leave.
- Additionally, the low cost of gasoline may be making stagnant wages an easier ‘pill to swallow’ for many US workers.
Other Good Stuff To Know
- The US economy added 2.7 million jobs in 2015 compared to 3.1 million in 2014.
- This report excludes farming payrolls.
- These are preliminary numbers. Given that there were increases to October and November jobs report numbers, it is possible they will go up, meaning there may have been more jobs added to the US economy in December 2015.
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Various sources used in this article: