Economy Gains 148,000 Jobs in December, Unemployment Unchanged at 4.1%

The U.S. economy gained 148,000 jobs in December, and unemployment was unchanged at 4.1%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This continues the recovery of the labor market at a tempered rate, which means the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee should continue to let the economy grow and not raise interest rates.

In response to the December jobs numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:

Last month's biggest job gains were in health care (31,000), construction (30,000) and manufacturing (25,000).

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers (13.6%) declined in December. The jobless rates for adult men (3.8%), adult women (3.7%), whites (3.7%), blacks (6.8%), Asians (2.5%) and Hispanics (4.9%) showed little or no change. 

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in December and accounted for 22.9% of the unemployed.