Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
In December, the unemployment rate fell from 7.0 percent to 6.7 percent and total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 74,000. On the household side of the survey, the labor force participation rate was 62.8 percent, a decline of 0.2 percentage points for the month and 0.8 percentage points over the past twelve months. Meanwhile, the employment-to-population ratio was unchanged at 58.6 percent on both a monthly and annual basis.
On the establishment side of the survey, an upward revision to November’s figures amount to a total of 38,000 more jobs added then previously reported. Throughout 2013, job growth averaged 182,000 per month, only slightly higher than the 2012 average of 183,000 jobs added per month. Over the past three months, roughly 172,000 jobs have been added per month.
In December, retail trade led employment gains with an improvement of 55,000 jobs added, mostly within food and beverage and clothing and accessory stores. Annually, retail trade averaged employment gains of 32,000 jobs per month in 2013. Professional and business services also continued to trend upward with a total gain of 19,000 jobs added in December and an average of 53,000 per month throughout 2013. Within the industry of professional and business services, employment in temporary help surged by 40,000 jobs while employment in accounting and bookkeeping services declined by 25,000.
Manufacturing added 9,000 jobs for the month and a total of 73,000 throughout the year, yet this number is down sharply compared to an increase of 154,000 jobs added in 2012. Construction led monthly declines (down by 16,000), but averaged an improvement of 10,000 jobs per month in 2013. Driven by seasonal factors, employment within the information industry fell by 12,000 for the month, but was essentially unchanged for the year. Healthcare employment ticked down by 6,000 in December with an average a gain of 17,000 jobs per month, down from the 2012 average of 27,000 per month. On an annual basis, the average weekly earnings for all employees rose by 1.5 percent or $12.07 to $831.45 per week, while the average weekly hour declined by 0.29 percent to 34.4 hours worked.