FileUnemployment

Total employment in the nonfarming sector has seen a considerable rise in the month of December. The nonfarm sector witnessed an addition of 312,000 jobs, which in comparison to November (added 155,000 jobs), is substantial growth. The rate of unemployment, however, increased in December from 3.7% in November to 3.9%, in spite of the job additions. The employment situation in December has also influenced by major government decisions such as the partial Federal Government Shutdown.

Household Survey Data

The month of December saw an increase of 0.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate. By the end of the month, the number of unemployed people was increased by 276,000, taking the overall unemployment figure to 6.3 million. This indicates a marginal increase in the number of unemployed persons from the previous month, which stood at 6 million. The situation during December 2018, however, still appears to be an improvement from the situation prevalent in December 2017, when the United States had 6.6 million unemployed persons at this time.

The unemployment rate of various groups gives a broader picture of how the country has fared when compared during the same time, last year.

Group
Unemployment Rate (December 2018)
Unemployment Rate (December 2017)
Men 3.6% 3.8%
Women 3.5% 3.7%
Whites 3.4% 3.7%
Blacks 6.6% 6.8%
Asians 3.3% 2.5%
Hispanics 4.4% 4.9%

This is further elucidated in the chart below:

Comparision of December 2017 and December 2018

The above representation shows that the rate of unemployment has decreased in 2018 when compared to 2017. However, the numbers in December have marginally increased compared with the previous month.

The month of December witnessed a minor change in the data of job-leavers and those who are long-term unemployed. Job-leavers are those who have quit their jobs and have immediately started looking for a new job, and long-term unemployed persons are those who have not been employed for at least 27 weeks or more. The number of job-leavers has increased by 142,000 in the month of December, which takes the overall tally for the year to 839,000. On the other hand, the number of long-term unemployed has seen a marginal decrease, coming down from 20.8% of overall unemployed to 20.5%.

Coming to the situation of labor force participation rate and employment participation ratio, there have been some minuscule changes. The data for December shows that the former has seen a marginal increase from 62.9% in November to 63.1%, whereas the latter remained unchanged for the third consecutive month, standing at 60.06%.  

The number of persons who are marginally attached to the workforce and the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons too have come down in December. The number of persons who are marginally attached to the workforce reduced from 1.7 million in November to 1.6 million in December, and the persons employed part time for economic reasons came down from 4.8 million in November to 4.7 million. Also, it is worthwhile to note that the number of discouraged workers, those who believe that there are no jobs for them at present, has come down by 99,000 from 2017.

Establishment Survey Data

The total increase in the non-farm payroll employment for the month of December has doubled from November. The total increase in the month of November was 155,000, whereas a total increase in December is noted to be 312,000. Much of the job-gain has occurred in healthcare, manufacturing, food services, construction, and retail.

Continuing the growth from November, the healthcare sector has been a leading employer in the month of December as well. The sector has added nearly 50,000 jobs in the month of December. Within the healthcare sector, major recruiters have been ambulatory services (adding nearly 38,000 jobs) and hospitals (adding 7000 jobs). The total number of people recruited by the healthcare industry in 2018 is 346,000.

Construction and manufacturing have contributed 38,000 and 32,000 jobs respectively in December. Within the construction industry, job gains were made by nonresidential trade construction and civil engineering (both adding 16,000 jobs respectively). Within the manufacturing industry, a large number of jobs were added by manufacturing durable goods component (added 19,000 jobs) and manufacturing fabricated metal products (added 7000 jobs). The construction industry added a total of 280,000 jobs in 2018, and the contribution from the manufacturing sector stands at 207,000 jobs for the year.

Due to the increase in recruitment by the general merchandising stores (adding 15,000 jobs) and automobile dealers (adding 6000 jobs), the overall retail sector has added a total of 24,000 jobs to the American economy in the month of December. However, the employment rate in sectors such as mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government remains unchanged in December.

This suggests that those who are on the lookout for a new employment opportunity, healthcare, manufacturing, constructing and retail are recruiting in large numbers, as opposed to other industries in the country.

Total employment in the non-farm category increased by 155,000 for the month of November. The rate of employment has remained unchanged at 3.7%, as per the reports of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report also states that sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing have recorded job gains.

Household Survey Data

The rate of unemployment remained unchanged for the third month in a row at 3.7%, and the number of unemployed persons changed marginally standing at 6 million. In the course of the year, however, the number of people unemployed and the rate of unemployment declined by 641,000 and 0.40% percentage point respectively.

The unemployment rate for various groups can be found in the table below:

Group
Group Unemployment  Rate
Men 3.3%
Women 3.4%
Teenagers 12%
Whites3.4%
Blacks5.9%
Asians2.7%
Hispanics 4.5%

The above data indicate that there are little to no changes in comparison to the previous month.

The rates of labor force participation and the employment-population ratio, remain unchanged at 62.9 percent and 60.06 percent. The numbers of persons employed part time for economic reasons, however, changed a little, standing at 4.8 million.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) has come down by 120,000, with the overall figure now standing at 1.3 million for November. This group accounted for 20.8% of the overall rate unemployment rate. These involuntary part-time workers seek full-time employment but end up with part-time jobs because of either their due to the reduction in their working hours or due to the inability to find full-time job opportunities.

In November, 1.7 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, which is said to be an increase of 197,000 from the previous year. These people were not in the labour force in the previous year and were not counted as unemployed as they did not make an attempt to find employment.

Among the marginally attached, it is said that 453,000 people are identified as discouraged workers. Discouraged workers do not look for work in the current scenario as they believe that there are no jobs available for them. The other 1.2 million people are marginally attached to the labor force, as they have not looked for work due to commitments such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Establishment Survey Data

In November, the total non-farm payroll employment increased by 155,000, which is lesser than the average monthly gain in the previous 12 months, which stands at 209,000. Healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing sectors were some of the areas that witnessed job gains in the given month.

The healthcare sector added 32,000 jobs in November. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in ambulatory healthcare services, adding 19,000 jobs and hospitals adding 13,000 jobs. Over the year, the healthcare sector has added 328,000 jobs.

The manufacturing sector has added 27,000 jobs, with chemicals and primary metals adding 6,000 and 3,000 jobs respectively, in November. Overall, the manufacturing sector has added 288,000 jobs in the course of the year, largely in durable goods industries.

Transportation and warehousing sector has reportedly added 25,000 jobs in November. Within the industry, growth occurred in couriers and messengers, adding 10,000 jobs and warehousing and storage, adding 6,000 jobs. Over the year, this sector has added 192,000 jobs.

Other industries that have experienced job growth in November include professional and business services, which added 32,000 jobs, retail trade added 18000 jobs, merchandise stores added 39,000 jobs and miscellaneous store retailers added 10,000 jobs.

There were also industries that recorded a decline in job growth, such as the clothing and cloth accessories industries lost 14,000 jobs, electronics and appliance stores lost 11,000 jobs and sports, books and hobby stores lost 11,000 jobs.





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