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Friday, January 8, 2016

December 2015 Unemployment Rate, Jobs


The December Jobs Reports were released this morning, Friday, January 8. The economy added 292,000 new jobs, a much higher number than expected,  while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.0%.
Remember that jobs numbers are seasonally adjusted, so the big jump in numbers of jobs is NOT due to temporary part-time Christmas jobs.
A 2015 Highlight:

  • Over 2,000,000 jobs have been added each year for the past five years, from 2011 to 2015, inclusive.  The only other period of five years or more of consecutive additions of 2,000,000 or more jobs was during the Clinton years from 1993 to 1999 inclusive.

From the BLS Employment Situation report:
"The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised from +298,000 to +307,000, and the change for November was revised from +211,000 to +252,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November combined were 50,000 higher than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 284,000 per month." 

December Highlights:
  • 292,000 total new payroll jobs.
  • 275,000 new private sector jobs.
  • 17,000 increase in the number of government jobs.
  • These numbers are much higher than the 200,000 to 205,000 new jobs estimated by the various "pundits". 
  • The unemployment rate stayed exactly the same at 5.0% as the number of unemployed decreased slightly by 20,000 and as the number of people employed increased by 485,000.  The number of people in the labor force (people working and people looking for work) increased by 466,000. 
  • The number of people not in the labor force (people 16 years of age and older who are in school, retired, e home with children, etc.) decreased by 277,000 slightly to 94,103,000 due to the large number of people entering the labor force.  
  • Alternate unemployment rate stayed the same at 9.9% to 9.9%.  
  • The labor force participation rate increased slightly to 62.6% due to the large number of people entering or re-entering the labor force.  (The labor force participation rate has been between  62.4%  and 62.6% for the past six months.)  
  • Year over year, we have about 1,700,000 MORE people in the labor force DESPITE large numbers of Baby Boomers retiring.  Remember that there is NO ideal labor force participation rate and most of the overall decrease in the labor force participation rate is due to these large numbers of retiring Baby Boomers.
  • The number of people working full-time increased by a HHHUGE 504,000 last month.
  • The number of people working part-time increased by about 27,000 last month. 
  • The number of people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY DECREASED by 63,000 and the number of people working part-time VOLUNTARILY INCREASED by 72,000.  
  • There are 2.6 million MORE people working full-time than there were a year ago, and 86,000 FEWER people working part-time than a year ago.
  • As mentioned above, the BLS increased both the October and November numbers.  October numbers were increased slightly by 9,000 from +198,000 to +207,000, and the November numbers were increased by 41,000 from +211,000 to +252,000.  Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged a very healthy 284,000 per month.

December 2015 reports: (As usual, notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for December" when the updated reports become available later today or over the weekend.  Not all reports are updated every month.) 

More highlights and reports will continue to be posted here throughout the day and over the weekend.  Please check back!