Friday, February 1, 2008

December Unemployment Rises

From the Bureau of Labor Statisticsof the U.S. Department of Labor :

The unemployment rate rose to 5.0 percent in December, while nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged (+18,000). Job growth in several service-providing industries, including professional and technical services, health care, and food services, was largely offset by job losses in construction and manufacturing.

Average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents, or 0.4 percent.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 474,000 to 7.7 million in December and the unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage point to 5.0 percent. A year earlier, the number of unemployed persons was 6.8 million, and the jobless rate was 4.4 percent.

In December, unemployment rates rose for several major worker groups--adult men (to 4.4 percent), adult women (4.4 percent), whites (4.4 percent), and Hispanics (6.3 percent). The unemployment rates for teenagers (17.1 percent) and blacks (9.0 percent) were little changed. The unemployment rate for Asians was 3.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted. Most major worker groups experienced increases in their jobless rates over the year.

Both total employment, at 146.2 million, and the employment-population ratio, at 62.7percent, decreased in December following increases in November. Total employment was essentially unchanged over the year, while the employment-population ratio declined by 0.7 percentage point over the same period. The civilian labor force was essentially unchanged in December at 153.9 million. The labor force participation rate, at 66.0 percent, was unchanged over the month, but was 0.4 percentage point lower than a year earlier.

The number of persons who worked part time for economic reasons, at 4.7 million in December, was little changed over the month but was up by 456,000 over the year. This category includes persons who indicated that they would like to work full time but were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs.

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