January 2015 Jobs Report: 252,000 Jobs Added in December

Posted by Paladin on January 14, 2015

A total of 252,000 jobs were added to the U.S. Workforce in December as unemployment rate continues to drop.

The December BLS report showed that 252,000 jobs were added to the U.S. workforce last month. Although this number dropped from the month prior America’s employment situation remains stable maintaining above average job growth for the year and 177,000 more jobs than 2013.

Although there were less jobs created in December the unemployment rate dropped .2 percent from November to 5.6 percent decreasing the number of unemployed individuals to a total of 8.7 million which is 383,000 less than the previous month. The unemployment rate has continued to stay below 6.0 percent since September and has steadily decreased throughout the past year.

Jobs Report for January 2015 - Chart Showing National Unemployment Rate December 2013-2014; Seasonally Adjusted

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) remains stagnant at 31.9 percent totaling at 2.8 million unemployed individuals. Even though the number of the long-term unemployed held constant this month, throughout 2014 the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.1 million.

America’s workforce continue to work an average of 34.6 hours per week but their average hourly wages have decreased by 5 cents to $24.57, following an increase of 6 cents in the previous month. Although we saw a decline in hourly wages in December, wages have risen by 1.7 percent throughout 2014.

The professional and business services sector continues to lead the way for growth, adding 52,000 new jobs.

Jobs in the Professional and Business sector decreased from 86,000 in November to 52,000 but continue to lead the way in overall job creations for the month of December. Although this is a strong number it is below the 2014 monthly gains industry average job growth of 61,000.

Both the labor force participation rate and the number of discouraged workers remains unchanged.

The civilian labor force participation rate declined by .2 percent in December to 62.7 percent and has remained fairly stagnant ranging from 62.7 to 62.9 percent since April. The December employment-population ratio remained unchanged for the third month in a row at 59.2 percent, but it is up by 0.6 percentage point over the year.

The total number of persons marginally attached to the labor force showed this month little change from the year prior at 2.3 million. The number of discouraged workers (those persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them) also remains moderately unchanged at 740,000 averaging 736,000 in the last quarter of 2014. Although this number shows little mobility it is an improvement from the prior year.

Jobs Report for January 2015 - Chart Showing 252,000 New Jobs Added in December

BLS revisions show additional 50,000 jobs.

The December report shows revisions indicating that 50,000 additional jobs were added to the economy during the months of October and November than previously reported. October’s job numbers increased by 18,000 going from 243,000 to 261,000 and November’s numbers increased by 32,000 going from 321,000 to 353,000.

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