U.S. Employment Trends

U.S. December Unemployment Rate Declines to 5.6%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 252,000 in December, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.6 percent. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- DECEMBER 2014


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 252,000 in December, and the unemployment 
rate declined to 5.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 
Job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, food 
services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.


  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 |                                                                      |
 |       Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data          |
 |                                                                      |
 | Seasonally adjusted household survey data have been revised using    |
 | updated seasonal adjustment factors, a procedure done at the end     |
 | of each calendar year. Seasonally adjusted estimates back to         |
 | January 2010 were subject to revision. The unemployment rates for    |
 | January 2014 through November 2014 (as originally published and as   |
 | revised) appear in table A, along with additional information about	|
 | the revisions.                                                       |
  ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.6 percent in December, 
and the number of unemployed persons declined by 383,000 to 8.7 million. Over the 
year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.1 
percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women (5.0 percent) 
decreased by 0.2 percentage point in December, while the rates for adult men (5.3 
percent), teenagers (16.8 percent), whites (4.8 percent), blacks (10.4 percent), 
and Hispanics (6.5 percent) showed little change. The jobless rate for Asians, at 
4.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted), changed little from a year earlier. (See 
tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In December, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or 
longer) was essentially unchanged at 2.8 million and accounted for 31.9 percent of 
the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 
1.1 million. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate edged down by 0.2 percentage point 
to 62.7 percent in December. Since April, the participation rate has remained 
within a narrow range of 62.7 to 62.9 percent. In December, the employment-
population ratio was 59.2 percent for the third consecutive month. However, the 
employment-population ratio is up by 0.6 percentage point over the year. (See 
table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred 
to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in December at 6.8 million. 
These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working 
part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to 
find a full-time job.  (See table A-8.)

In December, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, 
little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These 
individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and 
had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as 
unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the 
survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 740,000 discouraged workers in December, 
down by 177,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) 
Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe 
no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally 
attached to the labor force in December had not searched for work for reasons such 
as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 252,000 in December. In 2014, job 
growth averaged 246,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 194,000 
in 2013. In December, employment increased in professional and business services, 
construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing. 
(See table B-1.)

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 in December, 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). 

In December, 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 in December. 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. 

In December, 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 up 
in December.   

Employment in retail trade changed little in December, 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. 

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged 
at 34.6 hours in December. The manufacturing workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 
41.0 hours, and factory overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.6 hours. The average 
workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls 
edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.9 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls 
decreased by 5 cents to $24.57, following an increase of 6 cents in November. Over 
the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.7 percent. In December, average 
hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees decreased 
by 6 cents to $20.68. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

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.

_____________
The Employment Situation for January is scheduled to be released on Friday, 
February 6, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).


 
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  |                                                                |
  |       Revisions in the Establishment Survey Data               |
  |                                                                |
  | Effective with the release of January 2015 data on February 6, |
  | 2015, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey will      |
  | introduce revisions to nonfarm payroll employment, hours,      |
  | and earnings data to reflect the annual benchmark adjustment   |
  | for March 2014 and updated seasonal adjustment factors. Not    |
  | seasonally adjusted data beginning with April 2013 and         |
  | seasonally adjusted data beginning with January 2010 are       |
  | subject to revision.                                           |
  |                                                                |
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   -----------------------------------------------------------------
  |                                                                 |
  |         Upcoming Changes to the Household Survey                |
  |                                                                 |
  | Effective with the release of January 2015 data on February 6,  |
  | 2015, new population controls will be used in the Current       |
  | Population Survey (CPS) estimation process. These new controls  |
  | reflect the annual updating of intercensal population estimates |
  | by the U.S. Census Bureau. In accordance with usual practice,   |
  | historical data will not be revised to incorporate the new      |
  | controls; consequently, household survey data for January 2015  |
  | will not be directly comparable with data for December 2014 or  |
  | earlier periods. A table showing the effects of the new controls|
  | on the major labor force series will be included in the January |
  | 2015 news release.                                              |
  |                                                                 |
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   -----------------------------------------------------------------
  |                                                                 |
  |    Upcoming Changes to the Employment Situation News Release    |
  |                                                                 |
  | Effective with the release of January 2015 data on February 6,  |
  | 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will introduce several|
  | changes to The Employment Situation news release tables.        |
  |                                                                 |
  | Household survey table A-2 will introduce seasonally adjusted   |
  | series on the labor force characteristics of Asians. These      |
  | series will appear in addition to the not seasonally adjusted   |
  | data for Asians currently displayed in the table. Also, in      |
  | summary table A, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for  |
  | Asians will replace the not seasonally adjusted series that is  |
  | currently displayed for the group.                              |
  |                                                                 |
  | Household survey table A-3 will introduce seasonally adjusted   |
  | series on the labor force characteristics of Hispanic men age   |
  | 20 and over, Hispanic women age 20 and over, and Hispanic       |
  | teenagers age 16 to 19. The not seasonally adjusted series for  |
  | these groups will continue to be displayed in the table.        |
  |                                                                 |
  | The establishment survey will introduce two data series: (1)    |
  | total nonfarm employment, 3-month average change and (2) total  |
  | private employment, 3-month average change. These new series    |
  | will be added to establishment survey summary table B.          |
  | Additionally, in the employment section of summary table B, the |
  | list of industries will be expanded to include utilities        |
  | (currently published in table B-1). Also, hours and earnings of |
  | production and nonsupervisory employees will be removed from    |
  | summary table B, although these series will continue to be      |
  | published in establishment survey tables B-7 and B-8. A sample  |
  | of the new summary table B is available on the BLS website at   |
  | www.bls.gov/ces/cesnewsumb.pdf.                                 |
  |                                                                 |
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       Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data        
                                                                    
At the end of each calendar year, BLS routinely updates the         
seasonal adjustment factors for the labor force series derived      
from the Current Population Survey (CPS), or household survey.      
As a result of this process, seasonally adjusted data for           
January 2010 through November 2014 were subject to revision.        
                                                                    
Table A shows the unemployment rates for January 2014 through       
November 2014, as first published and as revised. The rates         
changed by one-tenth of a percentage point in 3 of the 11 months    
and were unchanged in the remaining 8 months. Revised seasonally    
adjusted data for other major labor force series beginning in       
December 2013 appear in table B.                                    
                                                                    
An article describing the seasonal adjustment methodology for       
the household survey data and revised data for January 2014         
through November 2014 is available at www.bls.gov/cps/cpsrs2015.pdf.
                                                                    
Historical data for the household series contained in the A tables  
of this release can be accessed at www.bls.gov/cps/cpsatabs.htm.    
Revised historical seasonally adjusted data are available at        
www.bls.gov/cps/data.htm and http://download.bls.gov/pub/time.series/ln/.
                                                                    
                                                                    
 Table A. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in 2014 and changes due to revision
 January - November 2014
 
 
        Month                 As first published       As revised            Change
 
 January.............                 6.6                 6.6                 0.0
 February............                 6.7                 6.7                  .0
 March...............                 6.7                 6.6                 -.1
 April...............                 6.3                 6.2                 -.1
 May.................                 6.3                 6.3                  .0
 June................                 6.1                 6.1                  .0
 July................                 6.2                 6.2                  .0
 August..............                 6.1                 6.1                  .0
 September...........                 5.9                 5.9                  .0
 October.............                 5.8                 5.7                 -.1
 November............                 5.8                 5.8                  .0
 
 
 


HOUSEHOLD DATA

Table B. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age, seasonally adjusted [Numbers in thousands]

Employment status, sex, and age20132014
Dec.Jan.Feb.Mar.Apr.MayJuneJulyAug.Sept.Oct.Nov.Dec.

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population(1)

246,745246,915247,085247,258247,439247,622247,814248,023248,229248,446248,657248,844249,027

Civilian labor force

155,047155,486155,688156,180155,420155,629155,700156,048156,018155,845156,243156,402156,129

Participation rate

62.863.063.063.262.862.862.862.962.962.762.862.962.7

Employed

144,671145,206145,301145,796145,724145,868146,247146,401146,451146,607147,260147,331147,442

Employment-population ratio

58.658.858.859.058.958.959.059.059.059.059.259.259.2

Unemployed

10,37610,28010,38710,3849,6969,7619,4539,6489,5689,2378,9839,0718,688

Unemployment rate

6.76.66.76.66.26.36.16.26.15.95.75.85.6

Men, 20 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population(1)

110,613110,746110,838110,930111,027111,126111,230111,342111,451111,567111,679111,778111,875

Civilian labor force

79,52379,89979,88480,12579,83779,83680,05680,17480,21080,16380,02380,02980,271

Participation rate

71.972.172.172.271.971.872.072.072.071.971.771.671.8

Employed

74,50574,90574,82075,28475,16375,15975,50475,63175,66875,88975,92875,67576,026

Employment-population ratio

67.467.667.567.967.767.667.967.967.968.068.067.768.0

Unemployed

5,0184,9945,0644,8414,6744,6774,5524,5434,5434,2734,0944,3544,245

Unemployment rate

6.36.36.36.05.95.95.75.75.75.35.15.45.3

Women, 20 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population(1)

119,433119,497119,583119,669119,760119,852119,948120,052120,156120,265120,370120,465120,557

Civilian labor force

69,88670,04570,32370,36370,04170,17070,00370,22270,23070,03770,35470,59970,111

Participation rate

58.558.658.858.858.558.558.458.558.458.258.458.658.2

Employed

65,67865,91366,16866,00966,07666,16466,26766,25066,28966,19266,56066,89466,632

Employment-population ratio

55.055.255.355.255.255.255.255.255.255.055.355.555.3

Unemployed

4,2084,1314,1554,3543,9644,0063,7363,9723,9423,8453,7943,7053,479

Unemployment rate

6.05.95.96.25.75.75.35.75.65.55.45.25.0

Both sexes, 16 to 19 years

Civilian noninstitutional population(1)

16,70016,67116,66416,65816,65216,64416,63616,62916,62216,61516,60816,60216,595

Civilian labor force

5,6385,5425,4805,6925,5425,6235,6415,6525,5785,6455,8665,7755,747

Participation rate

33.833.232.934.233.333.833.934.033.634.035.334.834.6

Employed

4,4884,3884,3124,5044,4854,5454,4764,5204,4954,5274,7724,7624,784

Employment-population ratio

26.926.325.927.026.927.326.927.227.027.228.728.728.8

Unemployed

1,1501,1551,1681,1891,0571,0781,1651,1321,0831,1191,0941,013963

Unemployment rate

20.420.821.320.919.119.220.720.019.419.818.717.516.8

Footnotes

(1) The population figures are not adjusted for seasonal variation.

NOTE: Seasonally adjusted data have been revised to reflect updated seasonal adjustment factors.



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