C-SPAN: Unemployment Rate Falls to 9.4%
A key government measure on the nation's jobs situation reported today that the U.S. unemployment rate for December went down to 9.4 percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Current Employment Statistics released its monthly report indicating that the U.S. added 103,000 new jobs, up from November's total of 39,000.
Employment rose in leisure and hospitality and in health care but was little changed in other major industries.
President Obama will speak about the new unemployment numbers to the press later this morning (11:35am ET).
Of course it helps to read the full report. I could be wrong, but gains in leisure, hospitality and healthcare don't seem all that encouraging; I read these as an increase in people eating out, drinking more and getting sick. Until construction and manufacturing go up, I think we're in trouble. One bright spot this month is a very slight gain (+5,000 jobs) in the "support activities for mining."
Since December 2009, total payroll employment has increased by 1.1 million, or an average of 94,000 per month.
Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 47,000 in December. Within the industry, job gains continued in food services and drinking places (+25,000). Since a recent low in December 2009, the food services industry has added 188,000 jobs.
In December, health care employment continued to expand, with a gain of 36,000. Over the month, job gains continued in ambulatory services(+21,000), hospitals (+8,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+7,000).
Within professional and business services, employment in temporary help services continued to trend up in December (+16,000) and has risen by 495,000 since a recent low in September 2009.
Employment in retail trade changed little in December (+12,000). A job gain in motor vehicle and parts dealers (+8,000) offset a loss in health and personal care stores (-8,000). Employment in most other service-providing industries changed little over the month.
In the goods-producing sector, mining employment continued to trend up in December, reflecting a job gain in support activities for mining (+5,000).
Manufacturing employment changed little over the month (+10,000). Following job growth earlier in 2010, employment has been relatively flat, on net, since May.
Construction employment also was little changed overall in December (-16,000). Within construction, there were job losses in heavy and civil engineering (-13,000) and in residential building (-6,000).