This Blog report is taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, U S Department of Labor. Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 199,000 in December, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 3.9 percent. Employment continued to trend up in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing. In 2021, job growth averaged 537,000 per month. Employment has increased by 18.8 million since April 2020 but is down by 3.6 million, or 2.3 percent, from its level before the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in February 2020.
Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in December (+53,000). The industry has added 2.6 million jobs in 2021, accounting for 4 in 10 total nonfarm payroll jobs added over the year. Since February 2020, employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 1.2 million, or 7.2 percent.
Employment in food services and drinking places rose by 43,000 in December but is down by 653,000 since February 2020.
Employment in professional and business services continued its upward trend in December (+43,000) but is slightly below (-35,000) its February 2020 level. Within the industry, employment in the professional and technical services component rose by 37,000 over the month and is 412,000 higher than in February 2020. (Professional and technical services includes industries such as computer systems design and related services, architectural and engineering services, and scientific research and development services.) Employment in the administrative and waste services component (which includes temporary help services) was about unchanged in December (+4,000) and is 374,000 lower than in February 2020.
In December, manufacturing added 26,000 jobs, largely in durable goods industries. A job gain of 8,000 in machinery reflected a return of workers from a strike. Employment in manufacturing is 219,000 lower than in February 2020.
Construction employment increased by 22,000 in December, with job gains in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+13,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (+10,000). Construction employment is down by 88,000 since February 2020.
Transportation and warehousing added 19,000 jobs in December. Job gains occurred in support activities for transportation (+7,000), in air transportation (+6,000), and in warehousing and storage (+5,000). Employment in couriers and messengers was essentially unchanged. Since February 2020, employment in transportation and warehousing is up by 218,000, led by growth in couriers and messengers (+202,000) and in warehousing and storage (+181,000).
In December, employment in wholesale trade grew by 14,000 but is down by 129,000 since February 2020. Employment in mining increased by 7,000 in December but is down by 81,000 from a peak in January 2019.
In December, employment showed little or no change in other major industries, including retail trade, information, financial activities, health care, other services, and government
Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.1 percent from November to December, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from an increase of 0.6 percent in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 0.5 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). Real average weekly earnings increased 0.1 percent over the month due to the change in real average hourly earnings combined with no change in the average workweek.