Republished with permission of the US BLS

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 199,000 in December, and the unemployment rate
declined to 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment
continued to trend up in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services,
in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household survey
measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics. The
establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry. For
more information about the concepts and statistical methodology used in these two surveys,
see the Technical Note.

 _______________________________________________________________________________________
|											|
|                 Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data                 |
|											|
| Seasonally adjusted household survey data have been revised using updated seasonal 	|
| adjustment factors, a procedure done at the end of each calendar year. Seasonally 	|
| adjusted estimates back to January 2017 were subject to revision. The unemployment 	|
| rates for January 2021 through November 2021 (as originally published and as revised) |
| appear in table A at the end of this news release, along with additional information	|
| about the revisions.									|
|_______________________________________________________________________________________|


Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 3.9 percent in December, and the
number of unemployed persons decreased by 483,000 to 6.3 million. Over the year, these 
measures are down by 2.8 percentage points and 4.5 million, respectively. In February 2020,
prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, and 
unemployed persons numbered 5.7 million. (See table A-1. See the box note at the end of 
this news release for more information about how the household survey and its measures were
affected by the coronavirus pandemic.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.6 percent), adult
women (3.6 percent), and Whites (3.2 percent) declined in December. The jobless rates for 
teenagers (10.9 percent), Blacks (7.1 percent), Asians (3.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.9 
percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers, at 1.7 million in December, 
declined by 202,000 over the month and is down by 1.8 million over the year. The number of
persons on temporary layoff was little changed at 812,000 in December but is down by 2.3
million over the year. The number of permanent job losers in December is 408,000 higher 
than in February 2020, while the number on temporary layoff has essentially returned to 
its February 2020 level. (See table A-11.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 
185,000 to 2.0 million in December. This measure is down from 4.0 million a year earlier 
but is 887,000 higher than in February 2020. The long-term unemployed accounted for 31.7 
percent of the total unemployed in December. (See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.9 percent in December but remains 
1.5 percentage points lower than in February 2020. The employment-population ratio 
increased by 0.2 percentage point to 59.5 percent in December but is 1.7 percentage points
below its February 2020 level. Over the year, these measures have increased by 0.4 
percentage point and 2.1 percentage points, respectively. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 3.9 million in December,
decreased by 337,000 over the month. The over-the-year decline of 2.2 million brings this
measure to 461,000 below its February 2020 level. These individuals, who would have 
preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been 
reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was little changed at
5.7 million in December. This measure decreased by 1.6 million over the year but is 717,000
higher than in February 2020. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they
were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were 
unavailable to take a job. (See table A-1.)

Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally 
attached to the labor force was essentially unchanged at 1.6 million in December. These 
individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the 
prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number
of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were
available for them, was also essentially unchanged over the month, at 463,000. (See Summary
table A.)

Household Survey Supplemental Data

In December, the share of employed persons who teleworked because of the coronavirus 
pandemic was 11.1 percent, little different from November. These data refer to employed 
persons who teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the 4 weeks preceding 
the survey specifically because of the pandemic.

In December, 3.1 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their
employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic--that is, they did not work at all 
or worked fewer hours at some point in the 4 weeks preceding the survey due to the 
pandemic. This measure was down from the level of 3.6 million in November. Among those who
reported in December that they were unable to work because of pandemic-related closures or
lost business, 15.9 percent received at least some pay from their employer for the hours
not worked, little changed from the prior month.

Among those not in the labor force in December, 1.1 million persons were prevented from 
looking for work due to the pandemic, little changed from November. (To be counted as 
unemployed, by definition, individuals must be either actively looking for work or on 
temporary layoff.)

These supplemental data come from questions added to the household survey beginning in
May 2020 to help gauge the effects of the pandemic on the labor market. The data are not
seasonally adjusted. Tables with estimates from the supplemental questions for all months
are available online at www.bls.gov/cps/effects-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic.htm.

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 199,000 in December. Job growth averaged 537,000
per month in 2021. Nonfarm employment has increased by 18.8 million since April 2020 but
is down by 3.6 million, or 2.3 percent, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. In
December, employment continued to trend up in leisure and hospitality, in professional 
and business services, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and 
warehousing. (See table B-1. See the box note at the end of this news release for more 
information about how the establishment survey and its measures were affected by the 
coronavirus pandemic.)

Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in December (+53,000). Leisure
and hospitality has added 2.6 million jobs in 2021, but employment in the industry is down
by 1.2 million, or 7.2 percent, since February 2020. Employment in food services and
drinking places rose by 43,000 in December but is down by 653,000 since February 2020.

Employment in professional and business services continued its upward trend in December 
(+43,000). Over the month, job gains occurred in computer systems design and related 
services (+10,000), in architectural and engineering services (+9,000), and in scientific 
research and development services (+6,000). Employment in professional and business 
services overall is slightly below (-35,000) its level in February 2020. 

Manufacturing added 26,000 jobs in December, primarily in durable goods industries. A job
gain in machinery (+8,000) reflected the return of workers from a strike. Manufacturing 
employment is down by 219,000 since February 2020. 

Construction employment rose by 22,000 in December, following monthly gains averaging 
38,000 over the prior 3 months. In December, job gains occurred in nonresidential 
specialty trade contractors (+13,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction 
(+10,000). Construction employment is 88,000 below its February 2020 level.

Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 19,000 in December. Job gains 
occurred in support activities for transportation (+7,000), in air transportation (+6,000),
and in warehousing and storage (+5,000). Employment in couriers and messengers was 
essentially unchanged. Since February 2020, employment in transportation and warehousing is
up by 218,000, reflecting job growth in couriers and messengers (+202,000) and in 
warehousing and storage (+181,000).

Employment in wholesale trade increased by 14,000 in December but is 129,000 lower than in
February 2020.

Mining employment rose by 7,000 in December. Employment in the industry is down by 81,000
from a peak in January 2019. 

In December, employment showed little or no change in other major industries, including 
retail trade, information, financial activities, health care, other services, and 
government. 

In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls 
increased by 19 cents to $31.31. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have 
increased by 4.7 percent. In December, average hourly earnings of private-sector 
production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 18 cents to $26.61. (See tables B-3
and B-8.)

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.7
hours in December. In manufacturing, the average workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.3
hours, and overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for 
production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour
to 34.2 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised up by 102,000, 
from +546,000 to +648,000, and the change for November was revised up by 39,000, from 
+210,000 to +249,000. With these revisions, employment in October and November combined
is 141,000 higher than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional 
reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published 
estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) 

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search AdviceNo BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2200 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on BingeNetworks.tv for Apple TV and 90+ smart sets.

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