Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 292,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Employment gains occurred in several industries, led by professional and business services, construction, health care, and food services and drinking places. Mining employment continued to decline.
The number of unemployed persons, at 7.9 million, was essentially unchanged in December, and the unemployment rate was 5.0% for the third month in a row. Over the past 12 months, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.6% and 800,000, respectively. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for blacks declined to 8.3% in December, while the rates for adult men (4.7%), adult women (4.4%), teenagers (16.1%), whites (4.5%), Asians (4.0%), and Hispanics (6.3%) showed little or no change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.1 million in December and accounted for 26.3% of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed has shown little movement since June, but was down by 687,000 over the year. (See table A-12.)
The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.6%, was little changed in December and has shown little movement in recent months. In December, the employment-population ratio, at 59.5%, changed little. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 6.0 million in December but was down by 764,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)