156k Jobs Added to the Economy in December

The Latest From the BLS Employment Report:

The US economy added 156,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate increased slightly, according to employment report data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate raised slightly to 4.7% this month.

In December, employment gains occurred in health care and social assistance. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised down from 161,000 to 142,000 and November was revised up from 178,000 to 204,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November combined were 19,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 165,000 per month. Private-sector employment is on its longest streak of growth on record.

As 2016 comes to an end, eyes are on the jobless rate and the wage growth. After the rise in average hourly earnings hit a seven-year high of 2.8% in October, wages dipped in November, slipping 0.1% and bringing the annual rate down to 2.5%. The unemployment rate, at 4.7%, and the number of unemployed 7.5 million, changed little in December. However, the average hourly earnings, at 10 cents per hour, is a significant uptick – most likely due to the anticipated FLSA ruling on raising minimum wage.

Economists’ predictions

Economists predicted 175,000 additions ahead of this morning’s jobs report and the report did not quite meet expectations. Instead, 156,000 jobs were added this month which is nearly in line with the six months growth pattern.


This Month’s Report

Let’s break down the numbers from this month’s report:

In December, hourly wages increased by $0.10 to $26 per hour, bringing the year-over-year wage percentage increase to 2.9%. The unemployment rate saw a slight uptick to 4.7%.

  • Wages:
    • $26 December
      • + $0.10 month-over-month
      • + 2.9% year-over-year
    • $25.89 November
  • Unemployment:
    • 4.7% December
      • +0.1% month-over-month
    • 4.6% November

Let’s take a deeper dive into this month’s legal industry numbers:

In-Depth Look: Legal Industry

  • Legal Services
    • Month-over-month change: +2,000
    • 3,400 jobs added since November of last year
    • Previous Months:
      • November -500
      • October -1,000
      • September +400
  • Professional and business services
    • Month-over-month change: +15,000
    • +522,000 jobs added year-over-year

The unemployment rate for the subsector that includes legal services now sits at 5.3%.

With job growth remaining steady, understanding your workforce continues to be key to recruiting and retaining top legal talent.

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