January 10, 2014

The headline unemployment rate fell sharply to 6.7 percent in December. The drop of 0.3 percentage points was almost entirely due to people leaving the labor force as the number of people reported employed in December only rose by 143,000. This was just enough to keep the employment-to-population ratio constant. The establishment survey was also surprisingly weak, showing a gain of just 74,000 jobs. In addition, the length of the average workweek fell by 0.1 hour leading to a decline of 0.3 percent in the index of weekly hours for the month.

jobs-2014-01-ge

For more, read the latest Jobs Byte.

The Labor Department reported the economy added 203,000 jobs in November after adding a revised 200,000 in October, the first time the economy has seen consecutive months of 200,000 plus job growth since November and December of last year. The strong job growth led to a drop of 0.3 percentage points in the unemployment rate to 7.0 percent. This drop was due to increased employment as the employment-to-population ratio (EPOP)rose by 0.3 percentage points to 58.6 percent, reversing a fall of the same amount reported for October.

real Wages for Production and Non-Supervisory Workers, Select Sectors, 2000-2013

For more, read the latest Jobs Byte.


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