Economy Gains 199,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Down to 3.9%


The U.S. economy gained 199,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.9%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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

Last month’s biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (+53,000), professional and business services (+43,000), manufacturing (+26,000), construction employment (+22,000), transportation and warehousing (+19,000), wholesale trade (+14,000) and mining (+7,000). In December, employment showed little or no change in other major industries, including retail trade, information, financial activities, health care, other services and government. 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.6%), adult women (3.6%) and White Americans (3.2%) declined in December. The jobless rates for teenagers (10.9%), Black Americans (7.1%), Hispanics (4.9%) and Asian Americans (3.8%) showed little or no change over the month.

The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined in December and accounted for 31.7% of the total unemployed.