The U.S. economy gained 223,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.5%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Continuing strong job creation numbers are a clear sign that the worker-friendly policies implemented by President Biden continue to have a positive impact on working people.
In response to the December job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs said: “One month wage growth (annualized) was 3.4%, a moderation of the three-month wage growth of 4.1%. These are signs that employment continues to grow, and wages are moderating and clearly not pushing up prices.”
December's biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (+67,000), health care (+55,000), construction (+28,000), social assistance (+20,000), other services (+14,000), retail trade (+9,000), manufacturing (+8,000), transportation and warehousing (+5,000), mining (+4,000), and government (+3,000). Professional and business services (-6,000) saw a decline. Over the month, employment showed little change in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information and financial activities.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate fell for White Americans (3.0%) in December. The jobless rates for teenagers (10.4%), Black Americans (5.7%), adult women (3.2%), adult men (3.1%), Hispanics (4.1%) and Asian Americans (2.4%) showed little or no change over the month.
The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or longer) declined in December and accounted for 18.5% of the total people unemployed.