The U.S. economy gained 312,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This report shows an increase in unemployed workers and while wage gains are stronger, they are not consistent with a tight labor market. This ongoing financial and economic volatility means that the Federal Reserve needs to hold off on more rate increases.
In response to the December job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
Job gains were in all broad industry groups except information. Biggest gains in education and health, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services leading in growth #JobsReport @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/MhRDA7KKnH— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019
The broadest measure of labor force slack (including part-time for economic reasons and discouraged workers) was flat at 7.6%, while the narrower measure was up to 3.9% #JobsDay #JobsReport @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/WnwK9O5MxV— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019
Over the year, unemployment rates fell for all education attainment groups, but was flat for college grads. But, from November to December, unemployment rates and number unemployed were up for all education groups, except college grads. #jobsday #JobsReport @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019
Over the year, and in December, construction and mining show gains. In a trend dating back to 2010, construction is almost recovered to its record level of employment in 2007 @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/68cUzgS4Sh— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019
December was a movement in the right direction for education employment with state and local government, but over the year the employment is still down--NOT GOOD for America's long term growth. @AFTunion @AFSCME @AFLCIO #JobsReport #jobsday pic.twitter.com/QsB6iBSRY7— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019
Many are seeing a sunny picture, but this job report shows an increase in unemployed workers (Black workers, all workers with less than college degrees, younger workers). Wage gains stronger but not consistent with a tight labor, the @federalreserve still needs to pause @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019
Last month's biggest job gains were in health care (50,000), professional and business services (43,000), food services and drinking places (41,000), construction (38,000), manufacturing (32,000) and retail trade (24,000). Employment in other major industries—including mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities and government—showed little change
over the month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates rose for blacks (6.6%), adult men (3.6%) and Asians (3.3%). The jobless rate for teenagers (12.5%), Hispanics (4.4%), adult women (3.5%) and whites (3.4%) and showed little or no change in December.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined slightly in December and accounted for 20.5% of the unemployed.