The Bureau of Labor has statistics has just published its employment situation report for December, 2015. It found that the number of jobs increased sharply and it also revised the employment situation reports for November and October up:
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 292,000 in December, and the unemployment rate
was unchanged at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment gains occurred in several industries, led by professional and business services, construction, health care, and food services and drinking places. Mining employment continued to decline.
The unemployment rate was unchanged, suggesting some reentry into the job market.
Average hourly earning were largely unchanged. As I see there are several prospective explanations for that:
- It may be that the additional jobs are vapor. There’s an enormous amount of adjusting going on here, particularly the “birth/death ratio”.
- Both employers and employees believe that there are lots more prospective workers out there. No one wants to rock the boat.
- It might be that December’s jobs numbers are something of a correction, i.e. that businesses had laid too many people off in previous months.
I’m honestly a little surprised, pleasantly so, by this. I honestly don’t know how you reconcile increasing employment with falling expectations for growth.
The increase in temps is concerning and, honestly, an increase in healthcare workers makes me queasy since so much of healthcare spending is provided by tax dollars.