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

Updated : August 4th, 2020

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.

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  1. So I have been getting ue for 6 months and on Oct 21 I had a fact finding issue found and cleared after taking a month, I got put on hold I got nothing no benefits nothing because I am on hold until cleared up and it was another month later in my favor, I’ve been without payment since Oct 21 since then I have been on HOLD, I am beyond pissed, I call every Fri I see the letter I received saying its in my favor that says I am Monetary Eligible-yet I still have 6 payments on hold. I call DEO and I talk, I beg and I get told “we are working on it”, the letter is in my favor I am poor not rich I am poor Why how do you people get away with this

  2. Hello

    I’m 59 years old and was laid off in March 2020 due to Covid.
    In June 2020 I was advised my job was eliminated and there is no chance of me
    Being brought back. I’m collecting UI since March.

    Pondering the thought of taking my early retirement pension as I can’t survive on
    UI any longer. My pension is of course reduced due to my age. Full pension is age 62.

    If I apply for early reduced pension in this situation, does my UI benefit get decreased? I’m in New York.
    I’m still looking for full time work. No luck.

    Thank you so much
    Lorraine

  3. i was just layed off from my job, i did collect benefits in pa. my job is seasonal igot unemployment payments in jan. to april i had 26 weeks of unemployment , but only used about 13 weeks, and was called back to work. i received 2 weeks of 600 dollars of stimlus money. my question is now that i reopened my 2020 claim . i,m i still elegibe for any more stimlus payments along with my regular unemployment payments.

  4. I am 65 yrs old in California and being layed off in Dec 2020. If I apply for unemployment benefits and collect a company pension, will the pension reduce the unemployment benefits ? If you answer call unemployment what is the department or do you have a phone number for a help line. I have called and get automated questions that do not apply to my situation.
    Cannot get to a live person.

  5. Several years ago I was part of a reduction in force and was early-retired for pension purposes. I count on this small pension ($2K/mo) to supplement my employment which has been inconsistent this past two years. I am filing for UI in IL and I qualify for it, but they are saying my pension reduces my UI benefit to zero. Is that right?

    1. Mike,

      That is partially right. The pension will have an impact on UI benefits. Please check for relevant info on the Unemployment Office’s website.

  6. I have $219.00 left on my UE and still no work due to covid-19 will i be able to get a extension on my UE and will it cover the last two weeks. I request payment tomorrow.

      1. My benefits have expired, still.unemployed due to over 65, wdiebrtes, high blood pressure and have one kidney, Can I get PUA , Cares Act for any assistance

  7. im working at a place i have been layed off from a lot in my career.i got 30 yrs in there so i can retire now but need another job to make it hoping to stay working and get more hours.If i take a new job and get layed off there I will BE DRAWING 1400 A MONTH FROM THE JOB I WORKED 30 YRS would i be able to draw unemployment if the new job lays me off and would it be reduced because of my retirement money of 1400 month.

  8. My bf was laid off in April he got the the 600 to start with now he is only getting the unemployment and no extra when we hear ppl getting 3 checks totaling 40k that might be lies but still that is bullshit.

  9. I Sharon Bland or Sharon Scott or Sharon Ann Mccraw
    Use my phone to claim two of my boyfriends and my own benefits. Is that ok ?

  10. I’m getting pua on employment and it was supposed to be backdated to May 27th when I wasn’t ableable to start my new job and somehow it’s August 24th they said it would be backdated been sending messages and pua people keep saying they have emailed you guys too but nobody gets back to me who do I need to contact about this thank you

  11. I check my checking account balance every week but I cannot tell if I am getting my 300.00 extra unemployment. Also. How can I tell if I got my back time unemployment .

    1. Thelma,

      I did not understand what you meant. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for precise answers to all your questions.

  12. I have exhausted my UI and all extensions. Not eligible for Fed Ed. Does EDD open a PUA claim for me. Or do I have to aoole for it. Its been past 30 days since receiving my Fed Ed denial letter.

  13. i have been unemployed for the whole year almost and since i have been trying to distance myself to better my all around health, it took me this long to file for benefits, i was hoping to get back pay all the way to the beginning.

    1. Zach,

      To qualify, the claimant is required to have sufficient earnings/employment during the “Base Period”. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website for more.

  14. Thank you o much for investigating this. When I received an overpayment statement and my benefits where stopped I felt my heart drop to my stomach. Already being evicted by a slumlord and now no income, i had to start working when i feel very at risk for getting the virus because of pre-existing conditions and the reason for filing in the first place. i am a cosmetologist and considered non-essential. I feel utterley hopeless and helpless in this situation.

  15. I cannot contact anyone in the unemployment offices because the phone hangs up on me in all cases after listening over and over the recorded message. I have called three numbers .

    I have received pandemic unemployment since March 31st. There was a pending adjudication but I never received any questions, letters nor emails about it and I was approved and paid. Now…this is what the website says:
    7 of 7 entries
    Issue Identification Number Employer Name Issue Type Status Date Mailed Level
    0002 7693 59-01
    PUA Pending 11/16/2020 Adjudication
    0002 4773 71-01
    Program Integrity Mailed 11/6/2020 Adjudicati
    Claimant Inbox
    Select the Search button to display your action items. To narrow your search, input issue date range below and select the Search button.
    Issue Date: From: To: 11/6/2020 to 11/16/2020
    Inbox
    • Below are the items that require your attention and that you need to take action on for your claim.
    • Select the Document ID
    I need this money to survive as others do while I am trying to re-establish any contract freelance work I am capable of doing….I report my small jobs as I get them but they do not come close to equaling my unemployment as of yet. Please tell me where I can go to find out what is needed here.

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