US Adds 252K Jobs in December

US nonfarm payrolls increased 252,000 last month after a revised 353,000 jump in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent from 5.8 percent.

In December, employment increased in professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.  In 2014, job growth averaged 246,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 194,000 in 2013 and an additional 2.95 million Americans found work, the most in 15 years. 

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised from +243,000 to +261,000, and the change for November was revised from +321,000 to +353,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November were 50,000 higher than previously reported.

Employment in professional and business services rose by 52,000 in December. Monthly job gains in the industry averaged 61,000 in 2014. In December, employment  increased in administrative and waste services (+35,000), computer systems design  and related services (+9,000), and architectural and engineering services (+5,000). Employment in accounting and bookkeeping services declined (-14,000), offsetting an increase of the same amount in November. 

Construction added 48,000 jobs, well above the employment gains in recent months. Specialty trade contractors added jobs in December (+26,000), with the gain about equally split between residential and nonresidential contractors. Employment also increased in heavy and civil engineering construction (+12,000) and in nonresidential building (+10,000). 

Employment in food services and drinking places increased by 44,000. The industry added an average of 30,000 jobs per month in 2014.

Health care added 34,000 jobs. Job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+16,000), nursing and residential care facilities (+11,000), and hospitals (+7,000). Employment growth in health care averaged 26,000 per month in 2014 and 17,000 per month in 2013. 

Manufacturing employment increased by 17,000, with durable goods (+13,000) accounting for most of the gain. Manufacturing added an average of 16,000 jobs per month in 2014, compared with an average gain of 7,000 jobs per month in 2013.

Employment in wholesale trade and in financial activities continued to trend.  Employment in retail trade changed little, following a large gain in November. Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, changed little in December. 

US Adds 252K Jobs in December

1/9/2015 1:49:24 PM