U.S. Employment Rose by 216,000 in December

Washington, DC, January 5, 2024-Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 216,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. 

Employment continued to trend up in government, healthcare, social assistance, and construction, while transportation and warehousing lost jobs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “There are signs the tight labor market conditions that prompted employers to offer robust pay raises in early 2023 continue to wane. Employers had far fewer open positions at the end of 2023 compared with the start, and workers are quitting their jobs at a lower rate than before the pandemic began. Yet, unemployment and layoffs remain low and vacancies are higher than 2019 levels, suggesting demand for workers is still solid. 

“For most of 2023, employers added more than 200,000 jobs each month. That was a much slower pace of job creation than comparable periods in 2021 and 2022, as the economy initially rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic, but better than in the years leading up to 2020. 

“The labor market’s slowing but steady pace during 2023, coupled with a sharp slowdown in inflation, has fueled optimism that the economy can achieve a so-called soft landing. That would mean inflation eases without a recession.”