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Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the
data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
                          Statement of
                           Keith Hall                                
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics
                     Friday, January 7, 2011

     In December, the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage
point to 9.4 percent, and nonfarm payroll employment increased by
103,000.  From a recent low point in December 2009, payroll
employment has risen by 1.1 million, or an average of 94,000 per
month.  In December, employment increased in leisure and
hospitality and in health care but was little changed in other
major industries.
     The leisure and hospitality sector added 47,000 jobs over
the month, with continued gains in food services.  Employment
also rose in amusements, gambling, and recreation.  Since a
recent low point in leisure and hospitality employment in
December 2009, the industry has added nearly a quarter of a
million jobs.
     Health care employment expanded by 36,000 in December and by
266,000 in all of 2010.  Over the month, employment continued to
rise in several health-related services, including outpatient
care centers, hospitals, and nursing and residential care
facilities.  Employment in temporary help services also continued
to trend up in December and has increased by 495,000 since a
recent low in September 2009.
     Over the month, job growth continued in support activities
for mining operations; the industry has added 77,000 jobs since a
recent low in October 2009.
     Construction employment changed little in December and, on
net, has been essentially flat since March.  In contrast, job
losses from August 2006 through February 2010 totaled 2.1
million.  In December, retail trade employment was little
changed, although job gains in the industry totaled 116,000 for
all of 2010.  Over the month, motor vehicle and parts dealers
added 8,000 jobs, in line with the trend since July.  December's
employment gain among motor vehicle and parts dealers was offset
by a loss of 8,000 in health and personal care stores.
     Manufacturing employment was little changed over the month.
Following modest job growth earlier in 2010, manufacturing
employment has been relatively flat, on net, since May.  The
factory workweek for all employees was down 0.1 hour in December
but was 1.5 hours above the low point of 38.7 hours in June 2009.
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 3 cents in December to $22.78.  Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.8 percent.  From
November 2009 to November 2010, the Consumer Price Index for All
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.1 percent.
     Turning to measures from our survey of households, the
jobless rate declined by 0.4 percentage point in December to 9.4
percent.  A year earlier, the unemployment rate was 9.9 percent.
The number of unemployed persons also declined over the month,
from 15.0 million to 14.5 million, largely reflecting a decrease
in the number of unemployed adult men.  Among the unemployed,
44.3 percent had been jobless for 27 weeks or more in December,
up from 40.1 percent a year earlier.
     The labor force participation rate edged down in December to
64.3 percent and was slightly lower than a year earlier (64.7
percent).  The number of persons working part time who would have
preferred full-time employment was essentially unchanged in
December at 8.9 million.  The number of discouraged workers grew
over the year by 389,000 to 1.3 million in December (not
seasonally adjusted).  Discouraged workers are persons outside
the labor force who are not looking for work because they believe
their job search efforts would be unsuccessful.
     Data users are reminded that seasonal adjustment factors for
the household survey are updated each year with the release of
the December data.  Seasonally adjusted estimates going back 5
years--to January 2006--were subject to revision.
     Summarizing labor market developments for December, the
jobless rate fell to 9.4 percent, and nonfarm payroll employment
rose by 103,000.

Last Modified Date: January 07, 2011