Employment Situation Across the USA – December 2017 (Household & Establishment)

Updated : June 12th, 2019

Every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a news release called ‘The Employment Situation’. Detailing how employment is faring in all industries within the United States. The month of December saw no changes to the overall unemployment rate. However, most of the industries in the United States did create a steady increase of jobs in line with 2016.

national unemployment since December 2017

The national unemployment rate for December 2017, remains at 4.1 percent, the same since October 2017. With the percentile remaining the same the number of unemployed persons remains at the 6.6 million mark. In 2017, the unemployment rate dropped by 0.6 percent, which in terms of people is equivalent to 926,000 respectively.

Out of the current crop of unemployed populous, 3.8% of men remain unemployed and 3.7% of women are currently unemployed. Employers in the U.S had added in 148,000 jobs in December in order to ensure that the unemployment rate remains at the constant 4.1%. The unemployment rate has been controlled since October, with a surge in unemployment in months prior.

This is actually an improvement as the current unemployment rate is at its lowest since the early 2000’s. Another plus is that December 2017 was the 87th straight month where employers have tried to employ more people. While the current 148,000 jobs created is significantly lower than what the economists predicted for the end of the year, it’s still a good sign knowing that jobs are in creation.

The least unemployment rate in each sector of  the United States are:

  • West – Hawaii (2.0%)
  • Midwest – North Dakota (2.3%)
  • North East – New Hampshire (2.5%)
  • South – Tennessee and Arkansas (3.3%)

The Highest unemployment rate in each sector of the United States are:

  • West – Alaska (7.0%)
  • Midwest – Illinois (4.7%)
  • Northeast – New Jersey (4.8%)
  • South – District of Columbia (5.8%)

In terms of different ethnicities within the United States, below are the unemployment rates for each:

  • 3.7% Whites
  • 6.8% African-Americans
  • 2.5 % Asians
  • 4.9% Hispanics

The current issue in the United States, however, is that there is a lot of stress on employers, as there are around 6 million jobs still yet to be utilized by the public, but due employers searching for talented personnel only, there is pressure to fill up all those vacant job roles.

This is especially important, seeing that the number of long-term unemployed individuals (people who haven’t been able to find employment for 27 weeks or more) changed only little at 1.5 million. This 1.5 million accounted for 22.9 percent of the total unemployed. Throughout 2017, however, the number of individuals who have been unemployed for a long-term declined by 354,000.

When it comes to new entrants, the number decreased by a total of 116,000 in the month of December. New entrants consist mostly of the youth population who are looking for employment after graduation from high school or college. Those that have never worked before are also considered freshers seeing as they lack any experience necessary for employment.

When it comes to the healthcare industry, employment increased by 31,000 jobs in the month of December.  The Healthcare industry tallied up 300,000 jobs in 2017, compared to the gain of 379,000 jobs in 2016. Out of the 31,000 jobs, the healthcare industry created, 15,000 comprised of ambulatory health care services. The remaining 12,000 jobs comprised of hospital staff.

Construction jobs increased by 30,000 in December. Most of the increase in number consisted of specialty trade contractors, with an increase of 24,000. Employment in construction increased by 210,000 which is significantly higher compared to the gain of 155,000 in 2016.

December also saw employment in the manufacturing industry rose by 25,000, which comprises of a gain in the durable goods industry by 21,000 jobs. 2017 saw manufacturing add 196,000 jobs, which is a slight change from 2016.

Employment in food services and drinking places had a little change in December (+25000). Over the year, the food services and drinking places industry added in 249,000 jobs, which is similar to the 276,000 increase in 2016.

Professional and Business Services saw a slight change in December with an increase by 19000 jobs. Throughout 2017, the industry had an average of 44,000 jobs per month which is similar to the average monthly gain in 2016.

When it comes to retail trade, it seems the situation was unchanged with a decline of 20,000 in December. The retail trade industry saw employment in general merchandise stores on the decline by 27,000 jobs in December alone. Overall retail trade employment has lowered in 2017 by 67,000 jobs after a huge increase in 203,000 jobs in the year 2016.

When it comes to opportunities, there are jobs in construction, manufacturing, food and beverages that have constantly produced jobs since 2016.

  1. Are you able to receive unemployment in the state of Ga if you receive lump sum severance (which was the same pay as a 2 week regular paycheck)

    1. Sid,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

    1. Jose,

      We’re not a scam or a fraud website:) has been around for more than 10 years and we’re one of the leading forums for unemployment insurance and unemployment in general. Our daily visitor and patron base is of considerable size and we truly believe in being a center for jobless workers to access resources and share their queries.

      1. I’m confused the article is about extending unemployment benefits in Texas but there hasn’t been any approved Emergency extensions since 2013. Can you clarify this.

        1. Glo,

          The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  2. I’m attemptiing to file my first weekly claim since my layoff, however, my PIN# is not correct. what do I do to get my correct PIN# , please?

  3. I have exhausted my unemployment benefits in Texas but my calendar year does not end until September. Do I have to wait until the calendar year is over in Texas, to apply for unemployment benefits in New York in which I have available quarters?

    1. Mattie,

      As much as I am aware, UI benefits are only a one-time cycle. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  4. Help ran out of unemployment benefits for the pass 8 years i have worked at Hexion speciality chemical plant in Brady Texas how can i get my benefits extended

    1. Roderick,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

    1. Annette,

      You can visit the official website of the Unemployment Office and ‘login’ to check the claim status. Alternatively, you can also call the Claims Center.

      PS: It should not take 6 weeks to process the initial claim. Please chase at regular intervals.

    1. Jocelyn,

      Unemployment is offered to claimants who’re able and available for work. Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain if you can apply.

  5. I have been working for the same company for the past 11 years. I started out cleaning apartments, then landscaping and finally Asst. Manager for the past seven years. However, the owner/ manager had us all sign papers claiming we were “Independent Contractors.” I worked Monday thru Friday from 8am – 5pm the entire 11 years. Obviously, in reality, we had Never been “Independent Contractors.”
    Finally, October 2018 we became employee’s. On May 10, 2019 he sold the business which puts us all out of work. I tried filing for unemployment, but, I don’t have enough quarters in. Assuming I’m still out of work, can I wait for the next quarter to end, thus giving me the 2 quarters I need or will it not make a difference.

    1. Lea,

      Why don’t you look at alternate based period? Please use the link below to access the Base Period calculator.

  6. I have been working as an hourly employee for the last 4 months. Currently the board of the nonprofit agency came to me and told me that I had to file a 1099 or go to part time or find a new job. I have a scheduled time that I report to work. What are the laws here in Florida about who can receive a 1099

  7. I am unemployed and currently going to a community college. How can I apply for federal assistance?

    1. Carol,

      If you’re able and available for full-time employment, you can directly go to the website of the Unemployment Office and apply.

  8. I have worked in AZ since March 2016. However, I moved lived and worked for my employer in CA since 08/02/1982. Can I apply for Cali unemployment benefits?

    1. Robert,

      You should be applying from the state where your employment was based. Employers generally remit unemployment taxes to the state where the employee is based.

      1. How long does it take Washington state unemployment to deposit your back pay after they receive the determination letter from OAH stating I won my appeal?

  9. I have been trying for over a month to file and I still do not seem to be able to do it, but I finally got to the correct place, I think.

  10. Cumberland NJ Unemployment Center kept me on hold for 2 hours; I finally had someone answer my call, after providing my information and question regarding the status of my NJ Unemployment Claim the representative disconnected my call.

  11. Excellent list of things to help execute better. Even taking 3 or 4 of these that one does not currently utilize could help immensely.

    1. How did you calculate the total weekly Illinois benefit of $1495? Also, why isn’t Washington and Minnesota listed in your top 5 states with the highest paid unemployment insurance compensation?

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