Friday, January 7, 2011

Unemployment Rate Drops tp 9.4%

The unemployment rate fell  to 9.4% in December from 9.8% in November, and nonfarm payroll employment increased by 103,000, the . Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Also, upward revisions were made to the October and November payroll numbers. These are all government statistics, so specifics must be taken with a good dose of salt, but the direction of the data is in line with my thinking as to the new Bernanke manipulated trends in the economy.

The number of unemployed persons decreased by 556,000 to 14.5 million in December, and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent. Over the year, these measures were down from 15.2 million and 9.9 percent, respectively. Most interesting,U-6 -- so-called "real" unemployment -- fell pretty sharply to 16.7% from 17.0%, so it's not a case of discouraged workers being removed from the unemployed number.

Keep in mind that employment is a trailing indicator. It does not kick in on the up phase of the business cycle as other indicators. Thus, any uptick is a positive signal that Bernanke's money manipulation is working. Next stop by mid-2011, obvious accelerating price inflation.

Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 47,000 in December.Within the industry, job gains continued in food services and drinking places (+25,000). Since a recent low in December 2009, the food services industry has added 188,000 jobs.

In December, health care employment continued to expand, with a gain of 36,000. Over the month, job gains continued in ambulatory services (+21,000), hospitals (+8,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+7,000).

Within professional and business services, employment in temporary help services continued to trend up in December (+16,000) and has risen by 495,000 since a recent low in September 2009.

Employment in retail trade changed little in December (+12,000). A job gain in motor vehicle and parts dealers (+8,000) offset a loss  in health and personal care stores (-8,000). Employment in most other service-providing industries changed little over the month.

In the goods-producing sector, mining employment continued to trend up in December, reflecting a job gain in support activities for mining (+5,000).

Manufacturing employment changed little over the month (+10,000). Following job growth earlier in 2010, employment has been relatively flat, on net, since May. Construction employment also was little changed overall  in December (-16,000). Within construction, there were job losses in heavy
and civil engineering (-13,000) and in residential building (-6,000).
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised from +172,000 to +210,000, and the change for November was revised from +39,000 to +71,000.


  1. Wouldn't we always expect a pick up in employment for the Holiday period??

  2. @Anonymous:


    Tis the season to fudge the data, fa la la la, la la la la