The December Jobs Report in 10 Charts

The pace of hiring slowed last month, but the unemployment rate held at a 17-year low. Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 148,000 in December, the Labor Department said Friday.

Over the course of 2017, the economy added 2.055 million jobs. That’s the seventh consecutive year of job gains over two million. The pace of hiring, however, has been gradually slowing in recent years. In 2015, the total number of jobs was growing by over 2% a year. As of December, that figure was down to about 1.4%. Weekly wages were up about 2.8% from a year ago while hourly wages were up 2.5%. Both figures are above the inflation rate, although inflation has been inching up over the past year. The share of Americans who are in the labor forcedefined as those working or looking for work—was unchanged at 62.7% in December down somewhat from earlier in the year. The percent of people who were employed was 60.1% in December, down from as high as 60.4% in September . Both numbers have been weighed down due to the ongoing retirement of the baby-boom generation. Among workers ages 25 to 54, where decisions to retire or stay in school do not effect the figures as much, participation and employment rates are higher, and continuing to climb. People are staying out of work for shorter periods. The median duration of unemployment declined in December to 9.1 weeks, the lowest since mid-2008. Broader measures of unemployment, which include discouraged workers and those who work part-time but would like full-time hours, were little changed in December. Unemployment has been trending downward across racial and gender groups. Unemployment rates continue to differ significantly for workers with different levels of education. The unemployment rate for workers without a high school diploma is about three times that of workers with college degrees. Not all industries have been growing equally. Professional and business services have been booming, as has the health care industry. Meanwhile, employment in utilities, the information industry and retail trade have been declining. RELATED U.S. Employers Slow Pace of Hiring in December Analysis: Jobs Report Should Ease Fed Fears About Unemployment Falling Too Low December Jobs Report – The Numbers Economists React to the December Jobs Report: ‘No Cause for Alarm’

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