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December 2013 Employment Situation Report

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Earlier this week the Department of Labor, Bureau or Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Employment Situation for data collected during December 2013. Each month the BLS reports on the US Employment Situation by surveying households across the United States. The December 2013 Employment Situation report posted a national unemployment rate of 6.7% which is a a strong decrease in employment from the previous month which was 7.%. Job creation during December came in with 74,000 jobs that were added to the US economy which was a large decrease from the previous month where the economy added 203,000 jobs. With such a low job creation and large drop in the unemployment rate has raised questions amid concerns about the dropping labor force.

Of those jobs created in December there was a sharp increase in retail trade (+55,000). While the losers in December were Healthcare (-6,000 jobs lost) and Construction (-16,000 jobs lost). Employment in transportation and warehousing, financial activities, leisure and hospitality and government was little changed during the month.

With national unemployment rate at 6.7% there are 10.4 million jobless Americans. Of that number, the Employment Situation reports there are 3.9 million who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more and are deemed long term unemployed. This group of long term unemployed decreased from the previous month. The long term unemployed make up 37.7% of the total national unemployment.

Not counted in the December national unemployment rate are 7.8 million involuntary part time workers. This group of involuntary part time cannot find full time work or have had their hours reduced to part time. Another category not counted in the national unemployment rate are the 2.4 million persons who are considered marginally attached to the labor force. This group is not counted as unemployed because they have not searched for work in the last four weeks. Among the marginally attached workers there are 917,000 discouraged workers who has simply given up because they do not believe there is a job out there for them.

To view the full report go to Employment Situation – December 2013. The next national Employment Situation report will be released by the Department of Labor on February 7, 2014 and will cover employment data collected during January 2014.

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