January 06, 2012
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 200,000 in December. Job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing, retail trade, manufacturing, health care, and mining.
Employment in the private sector rose by 212,000 in December, while government employment changed little over the month (−12,000).
In December, employment in transportation and warehousing rose sharply (+50,000). Almost all of the gain occurred in the couriers and messengers industry (+42,000); seasonal hiring was particularly strong in December.
Retail trade continued to add jobs in December, with a gain of 28,000. Job gains continued in general merchandise stores (+13,000) and in clothing and clothing accessories stores (+11,000).
In December, manufacturing employment expanded by 23,000, following 4 months of little change. Employment increased in December in transportation equipment (+9,000), fabricated metals (+6,000), and machinery (+5,000).
Health care (part of education and health services) continued to add jobs in December (+23,000); employment in hospitals increased by 10,000.
Construction employment changed little in December. Within the industry, nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 20,000 jobs over the month, mostly offsetting losses over the prior 2 months.
In December, government employment changed little. Job losses in 2011 occurred in local government; state government, excluding education; and the U.S. Postal Service.
These data are from the Current Employment Statistics program. These data are seasonally adjusted, and data for the most recent two months are preliminary. To learn more, see "The Employment Situation — December 2011," (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL-12-0012.