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December Employment Report: 223 thousand Jobs, 3.5% Unemployment Rate


From the BLS:
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in December, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, health care, construction, and social assistance.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised down by 21,000, from +284,000 to +263,000, and the change for November was revised down by 7,000, from +263,000 to +256,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November combined were 28,000 lower than previously reported.
emphasis added Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms.

The current employment recession was by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms.

However, as of August 2022, the total number of jobs had returned and are now 1.24 million above pre-pandemic levels. I’ll post this graph through the January 2023 report (includes the annual revision).

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In December, the year-over-year change was 4.53 million jobs.  Employment was up significantly year-over-year.

Total payrolls increased by 223 thousand in December.  Private payrolls increased by 220 thousand, and public payrolls increased 3 thousand.

Payrolls for October and November were revised down 28 thousand, combined.

The third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

The Labor Force Participation Rate increased to 62.3% in December, from 62.2% in November. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.

The Employment-Population ratio increased to 60.1% from 59.9% (blue line).

I’ll post the 25 to 54 age group employment-population ratio graph later.

The fourth graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate was decreased in December to 3.5% from 3.6% in November.

This was above consensus expectations; however, October and November payrolls were revised down by 28,000 combined.  

I’ll have more later …

Friday: Employment Report

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