A surprisingly uneventful report, as BLS reports that 155,000 Jobs were added in December, right on top of the 156,000 expected, and in line with the number needed to keep up with the growth in the population, or at least the Old Normal growth. The unemployment rate was 7.8%, vs the 7.7% expected: who else is surprised that the rate is now rising with Obama reelected and when a lower unemployment rate means an earlier end to QE4EVA? The November unemployment rate was revised from 7.7% to 7.8%, just so headlines can proclaim the rate was unchanged, even though it was fractions away from a 7.9% print, compared to November initial 7.7%. According to the Household survey a materially less, or 28,000 jobs were added even as the number of unemployed rose by 164K. Average hourly earnings for all employees rose 0.3% in December from November, compared to the 0.2% expected. The confusion continues as the BLS reports retail jobs were mysteriously down by 19,000 even as every retailer announced it was hiring the kitchen sink, while manufacturing jobs supposedly rose by 25,000 while the ADP report reported 6 months of reductions in a row. Construction jobs increased by 30,000. The Underemployment rate, U-6, remains steady at 14.5%. ADP, which will certainly be revised lower now, remains a farce.
The labor force participation rate: 63.6%, same as November:
A job breakdown from the report:
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in December. In 2012, employment growth averaged 153,000 per month, the same as the average monthly gain for 2011. In December, employment increased in health care, food services and drinking places, construction, and manufacturing.
Health care employment continued to expand in December (+45,000). Job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+23,000), in hospitals (+12,000), and in nursing and residential care facilities (+10,000). In 2012, health care employment rose by 338,000.
In December, employment in food services and drinking places rose by 38,000. In 2012, the industry added an average of 24,000 jobs a month, essentially the same as in 2011.
Construction added 30,000 jobs in December, led by employment increases in construction of buildings (+13,000) and in residential
specialty trade contractors (+12,000).
In December, manufacturing employment rose by 25,000, with small gains in a number of component industries. In 2012, factory employment increased by 180,000; most of the growth occurred during the first quarter.
Employment in retail trade changed little in December, after increasing by 143,000 over the prior 3 months. Within the industry, employment in clothing and accessories stores fell by 19,000, following gains that totaled 55,000 over the prior 3 months. Elsewhere in retail trade, employment in automobile dealers and in food and beverage stores continued to trend up in December.
Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, professional and businesses services, and government, showed little change over the month.
In December, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.8 hours.