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December 2013 employment report disappoints with gain of only 74000 jobs

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In a surprisingly disappointing end to last year, total nonfarm employment in the United States edged up by only 74,000 jobs in December 2013, according to ‘THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — DECEMBER 2013’ released today by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In more positive news, the unemployment rate declined from 7 percent to 6.7 percent and the number of unemployed persons dropped from 10.9 million to 10.4 million.

The report revised the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November 2013 from 203,000 jobs added up to 241,000 jobs added while the October 2013 figure remained the same at 200,000 jobs added.

With these revisions, employment gains in October 2013 and November 2013 combined were 38,000 jobs higher than previously reported.

Job gains occurred in retail trade, wholesale trade, professional and business services, manufacturing, and mining in 2013, while employment growth averaged 182,000 jobs per month during the year.

As for specific industry sectors, the report found:

  • Retail trade employment rose by 55,000 jobs in December 2013 and added an average of 32,000 jobs per month in 2013.
  • Wholesale trade employment added 15,000 jobs in December 2013 and added an average of 8,000 jobs per month in 2013.
  • Professional and business services employment gained 19,000 jobs in December 2013 and averaged 53,000 jobs gained per month during the year.
  • Manufacturing employment added 9,000 jobs December 2013 and gained 77,000 jobs during the year.
  • Mining employment gained 5,000 jobs up in December 2013 and added 29,000 jobs over the year.

Jobs losses occurred in health care, information, and construction in December 2013. Employment in other major industries, including transportation and warehousing, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, changed little during the month.

The Employment Situation for December 2013 will be available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf until the Employment Situation for January 2014 is released Friday, February 7, 2014.

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