Real time jobs report data summary. Figures are based on the latest data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov). All jobs numbers are for non-farm employment.
For local jobs report data, click here.
5 Things to Know About the National Jobs Report
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the US unemployment rate rose to 3.9% in December from 3.7% in November, with 312,000 jobs added. According to Yahoo, this rate uptick was due to the labor force participation rate increasing in December. December is the healthiest month of job gains we’ve seen since February 2017, when 280,000 jobs were added.
Regionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks down the state and metro unemployment rates one month behind the national breakdown. Those numbers will be released mid-month every month.
2018 was a monumental year for job growth and the US economy. According to The New York Times, between a big corporate tax cut, trade tensions and a slowdown in the housing market, it’s unlikely 2019’s jobs reports will make quite the same headlines as 2018’s. Bloomberg experts, for example, expect job gains to slow an average monthly pace of 156,000 this year. On the other hand, with the stock market the most pessimistic it’s been in years, it’s possible the US economy could kick off with a bang in 2019 – and not in the most positive way.
Wages rose 11 cents in December, bringing average hourly wage risings to 3.2% year-over-year, or 84 cents. With the recovery in full swing, 2018 was the year wages finally began keeping up with the health of the economy, after 2017’s rates lagged and dragged. Overall, 2018 closed out strong.
Here are 3 other things to know about December’s jobs report:
1. Worker Shortages: Currently, there are over 7 million job openings in the US – but only 5.9 million unemployed individuals to fill them. While retail had it’s best holiday shopping season in six years in 2018, employers struggled to find the workers they needed to keep up with consumer demand. On top of that, “job leavers” – defined by the BLS as workers who quit or voluntarily left their previous jobs and immediately began looking for other employment – rose by 142,000 in December. To learn more about the current worker shortage, skills gap, and how to both find and retain your talent, download our latest White Paper here.
2. Manufacturing Boom: Despite increasing trade tensions, manufacturing contributed nearly 32,000 jobs in December of 2018, producing over 281,000 for 2018 alone, and far surpassing it’s 2017 growth of 207,000. According to the Washington Post, this has been the healthiest year for manufacturing since 2014.
3. The Aging Population & Healthcare: Healthcare continues to be the leading job growth contributor month-over-month, with 50,000 jobs added in December, and over 346,000 total in 2018. This is 62,000 more than the year prior. As the Boomer generation ages and requires increasing medical services, healthcare is expected to continue being a top contributor to job growth in 2019.