December Jobs Increased by 199,000

By Tom Burnett CFA

On January 7, 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its December 2021 Employment Report. Total employment increased by 199,000 in December, bringing the average monthly gain to 537,000 for the 2021 year. The unemployment rate declined to 3.9% from 4.2% in the prior month. The number of unemployed workers fell by 483,000 to 6.3 million. In February 2020, before the Covid-19 outbreak, the unemployment rate was 3.5% and the jobless number was 5.7 million. Total employment has risen by 18.8 million off the April 2020 low and now stands just 3.6 million below the top number achieved in February 2020.
Manufacturing jobs increased by 26,000 in December, but the total is 219,000 below the February 2020 level.
Average hourly earnings rose $0.19 to $31.31, up by 4.7% from the December 2020 figure.
The employment numbers for October and November were revised upward by a total amount of 141,000.
The next Employment Report will be issued on February 4, 2022.

Tom Burnett CFA is Director of Research