January 13, 2003
Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 101,000 in December 2002 to 130.7 million. Over the year, payroll employment declined by 181,000, compared with a loss of 1.4 million in 2001.
In December, job losses in manufacturing, retail trade, and transportation were partly offset by job gains in services. The downward trend in manufacturing continued in December, as factories lost 65,000 jobs. Over the year, factory employment declined by 592,000, compared with a drop of 1.3 million in the prior year. Employment in manufacturing has declined by 2.4 million since April 1998, its most recent peak.
Retail trade employment dropped by 104,000 in December. This followed a decline of 40,000 in November. Employment declined by 23,000 in transportation; most of this over-the-month job loss was in air transportation. The over-the-year decline in air transportation (-25,000) was much smaller than in 2001 (-139,000).
Employment in the services industry rose by 73,000 in December. Over the year, job gains in services totaled 590,000. In 2001, there had been a negligible over-the-year decline in services industry employment.
Payroll employment data are from the Current Employment Statistics program. The above data are seasonally adjusted. Data for November and December 2002 are preliminary and subject to revision. For more information, see "The Employment Situation: December 2002" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL. 03-05.