BLS Releases December 2019 Employment Data (Jan. 2020)
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 145,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in retail trade and health care, while mining lost jobs.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 145,000 in December. Notable job gains occurred in retail trade and health care, while mining lost jobs. In 2019, payroll employment rose by 2.1 million, down from a gain of 2.7 million in 2018. (See table B-1.) In December, retail trade added 41,000 jobs. Employment increased in clothing and accessories stores (+33,000) and in building material and garden supply stores (+7,000); both industries showed employment declines in the prior month. Employment in retail trade changed little, on net, in both 2019 and 2018 (+9,000 and +14,000, respectively). Employment in health care increased by 28,000 in December. Ambulatory health care services and hospitals added jobs over the month (+23,000 and +9,000, respectively). Health care added 399,000 jobs in 2019, compared with an increase of 350,000 in 2018.
Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in December (+40,000). The industry added 388,000 jobs in 2019, similar to the increase in 2018 (+359,000). Mining employment declined by 8,000 in December. In 2019, employment in mining declined by 24,000, after rising by 63,000 in 2018. Construction employment changed little in December (+20,000). Employment in the industry rose by 151,000 in 2019, about half of the 2018 gain of 307,000.
In December, employment in professional and business services showed little change (+10,000). The industry added 397,000 jobs in 2019, down from an increase of 561,000 jobs in 2018. Employment in transportation and warehousing changed little in December (-10,000). Employment in the industry increased by 57,000 in 2019, about one-fourth of the 2018 gain of 216,000. Manufacturing employment was little changed in December (-12,000). Employment in the industry changed little in 2019 (+46,000), after increasing in 2018 (+264,000). In December, employment showed little change in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and government.
In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $28.32. Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.9 percent. In December, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees, at $23.79, were little changed (+2 cents).
The full BLS press release on the December 2019 employment situation can be accessed in the pdf below:
The next employment situation report for January 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 7, 2020.