The Economy Adds 292,000 Jobs in December and Unemployment Remains Unchanged at 5%

The U.S. economy added 292,000 jobs in December and unemployment was 5%, remaining unchanged from the previous month, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This continues the record string of months with job growth.

In response to the December jobs numbers, AFL-CIO chief economist William Spriggs said:

In spite of continued job growth in the December jobs numbers, broad-based wage growth continues to elude workers, and average wages fell slightly. That’s proof that the economy is still not producing the results that working people deserve. Jobs must provide wages to sustain a family, and the big picture must be looked at when determining policies that will make an economy that works for all of us. Whether it’s how to raise interest rates or rejecting the job-killing [Trans-Pacific Partnership], we must ensure that policies aren’t pushed that benefit giant corporations at the expense of working people.

Last month’s biggest job gains were in heath care (39,000), food services and drinking places (37,000) and transportation and warehousing (23,000).

The mining industry lost 8,000 jobs.

According to BLS, other major industries, including wholesale trade, retail trade, financial activities and government, saw little change over the past month.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for blacks declined to 8.3% in December, while the rates for adult men (4.7%), adult women (4.4%), teenagers (16.1%), whites (4.5%), Asians (4%) and Hispanics (6.3%) showed little or no change.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.1 million in December and accounted for 26.3% of the unemployed.