With today being the first Friday of the month, the highly watched and anticipated U.S. jobs report was issued this morning by the U.S. Labor Department. With today’s report for the month of December 2011, the unemployment rate has been reduced to 8.5% from the 8.7% reported for November. Overall, the unemployment rate has been slowly but steadily decreasing since August 2011 when the rate was 9.1%. With today’s report, the unemployment rate is now at its lowest mark since early 2009 when the unemployment rate was into its climb to almost 10%.
Analysts say the big drop in joblessness in recent months overstates the actual improvement in the labor market. By the government’s definition, people are unemployed if they’re jobless and looking for work. Although layoffs at companies have receded, hiring has remained generally tepid and many people have dropped out of the labor force altogether; thus, they aren’t counted as among the unemployed.
Nevertheless, the numbers for December show a good improvement in job growth with the U.S. economy adding 200,000 new net jobs during the month and it strengthens evidence that the economy was more active for the fourth quarter due to strong manufacturing, business investments and an improvement in consumer spending. The following chart, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows the monthly net loss and gains in jobs for the period January 2008 to December 2011.
Also, two additional charts, also provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, depict various industry groups with the number of net gains and losses. The first chart shows job losses and gains by industry groups for the month of December. The second chart shows job losses and gains over a one year period between December 2010 and December 2011.
For all of last year, the economy created about 1.6 million net new jobs, up from 940,000 added to payrolls in 2010. Still, total U.S. payrolls are down about 6.1 million from December 2007 at the start of the Great Recession. And last month, a full two-and-a-half years after the recovery technically began, more than 13 million people remained jobless, and an
additional 8.1 million part-time workers said they could not get full-time hours. 01.06.2012