Economy Gains 148,000 Jobs in December, Unemployment Unchanged at 4.1%

The U.S. economy gained 148,000 jobs in December, and unemployment was unchanged at 4.1%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This continues the recovery of the labor market at a tempered rate, which means the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee should continue to let the economy grow and not raise interest rates.

 

In response to the December jobs numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:

 

Over the year, retail trade reported job loss (-67,000) as concentration of market power continued, reversing job gains of 203,000 in 2016. A sign of hyper-inequality is a collapse in retail competition @AFLCIO @UFCW

 

This month many minimum wage workers will get a wage increase. The food service industry--which whines those increases risk jobs- -continues job growth at a high rate, up 25,000 in December and 249,000 over the year. @AFLCIO@UFCW

 

For those keeping score: 2.2 million slots were added to payrolls in 2016 (thanks @POTUS44) but 2.1 million were added in 2017. @AFLCIO @CBTU72 @AFLCIONextUp @APRI_National@LVBurke @rolandsmartin

Last month's biggest job gains were in health care (31,000), construction (30,000) and manufacturing (25,000).

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers (13.6%) declined in December. The jobless rates for adult men (3.8%), adult women (3.7%), whites (3.7%), blacks (6.8%), Asians (2.5%) and Hispanics (4.9%) showed little or no change. 

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in December and accounted for 22.9% of the unemployed.

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