December Job Losses Worse Than Expected, Healthcare Gains

The economy shed far more jobs in December than economists had expected.

The Labor Department announced moments ago that nonfarm payrolls declined by a surprising 85,000 workers last month. Economists had been expecting no change or maybe a small decline.

One bright spot was healthcare which added another 22,000 jobs. Despite efforts by Democrats to "reform" this industry, it remains one of the few that continues to hire having added a staggering 631,000 employees since the recession began in December 2007.

It will be very interesting to see how this announcement gets covered by the Obama-loving media in the coming days:

Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-85,000) in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment fell in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.

In December, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.3 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, were unchanged. At the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.7 million, and the unemployment rate was 5.0 percent.Construction employment declined by 53,000 in December, with job losses throughout the industry. Employment in construction has fallen by 1.6 million since the recession began. [...]

In December, employment in manufacturing decreased by 27,000. The average monthly decline for the last 6 months of 2009 (-41,000) was much lower than the average monthly decline for the first half of the year (-171,000). Since the recession began, manufacturing employment has fallen by 2.1 million; three fourths of this drop occurred in the durable goods component (-1.6 million).

Wholesale trade employment declined by 18,000 in December, with the majority of the decline occurring among durable goods wholesalers. Employment in retail trade was little changed over the month, although general merchandise stores lost 15,000 jobs.

Temporary help services added 47,000 jobs in December. Since reaching a low point in July, temporary help services employment has risen by 166,000.

Health care employment continued to increase in December (22,000), with notable gains in offices of physicians (9,000) and home health care services (8,000).

The health care industry has added 631,000 jobs since the recession began.

How will this get covered in the coming days?

Stay tuned.

Economy Unemployment Recession
Noel Sheppard's picture