Change in Nonfarm Payrolls
Change in Private Payrolls
Change in Manufact. Payrolls
Avg Hourly Earning MoM All Empl
Avg Hourly Earning YoY All Empl
Avg Weekly Earning YoY All Empl
Change in Household Employment
Uderemployment Rate (U6)
Payrolls in U.S. Climbed 155,000 in December; Unemployment Rate 7.8%
Employers added workers in December at about the same pace as the prior month, and the unemployment rate matched a four-year low, showing sustained gains in the U.S. labor market even as lawmakers were struggling to reach a budget deal.
The unemployment rate held at 7.8 percent, matching the lowest since December 2008. A somewhat counter-intuitive thought on this is that a healthier employment picture would actually have the unemployment rate rise slightly because more unemployed people who have been out of the job market would begin looking for jobs. Well, at least that’s what I am looking for. But I am just a coonass with a finance degree, which of course makes me overqualified to be hired by CNBC.
Payrolls rose by 155,000 workers last month following a revised 161,000 advance in November that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase of 152,000. Improved hiring, hours worked and wages is helping underpin spending at retailers from Macy’s Inc. to Gap Inc., where December sales beat analysts’ estimates. Even bigger advances in employment may depend on lawmakers reaching an agreement on a
deficit-reduction plan after Congress this week averted income-tax increases on about 99 percent of households.
Average hourly earnings climbed 2.1 percent from December 2011, to $23.73, the biggest gain in a year, today’s report showed. The average work week for all workers climbed to six minutes to 34.5 hours. Private payrolls, which exclude government agencies, rose 168,000 in December after a revised gain of 171,000. They were projected to rise by 155,000, the survey showed. Factory payrolls increased by 25,000, the most since March and compared with the Bloomberg survey forecast of a 4,000 increase. Employment at private service-providers increased 109,000. Retailers decreased staff by 11,300. Construction companies added 30,000 workers, the most since September 2011. The figures may have received a boost from rebuilding efforts following SuperStorm Sandy, which left about 8 million homes and businesses without power for days after making landfall on Oct. 29.
Government payrolls decreased by 13,000 in December, the third straight month of declines. Progress in the labor market is driving Americans’ confidence and spending. Macy’s, the second-biggest U.S. department-store company, reported a 4.1 percent rise in December sales at stores open at least a year, while Gap, the largest U.S. specialty-apparel retailer, had a 5 percent increase.
Assistant State Treasurer
Chief Investment Officer
State of Louisiana
Department of the Treasury