December 2009 Jobs Report and Wages

Here are the job market and compensation numbers for December 2009 (based on the job report):

loss of 85,000 jobs in the month (revised to a loss of 150,000)

  • Analysts expected neither a loss or a gain for the month
  • October was revised to a loss of 127,000 from an original reading of 190,000 and revised reading of 111,000 (revised to final loss of 224,000)
  • November was revised to a gain of 4,000 jobs (revised to a gain of 64,000)
    • The first gain in 23 months

  • 15.3 million people are unemployed and looking for work
  • Temporary work, which usually precedes full time employment gains, added 46,500 jobs in December
  • Major federal government hiring is planned for the spring as the census work gets underway
  • Layoffs are flattening out, but hiring isn’t happening

Unemployment rate held steady at 10.0%

  • Analysts predicted it would stay at 10.0%
  • The Unemployment rate hit 10.8 in 1982
  • 661,000 people dropped out of the count, otherwise the rate would be 10.4%
    • The employment to population ratio dropped to 58.2 from 58.5
    • As employment picks up, the labor pool will grow again and the unemployment rate will actually go up

  • The U-6 report, which is a broader group, reached 17.3%
  • The average length of unemployment is 29.1 weeks (a record)
  • The median length of unemployment is 20.5 weeks (a record)

Specific Segment Job numbers:

  • Manufacturing lost 27,000 jobs
  • Construction lost 53,000 jobs
  • Retailers lost 10,200
  • Leisure and Hospitality Services lost 25,000 jobs
  • Government sector lost 21,000
  • Education and Health Services grew by 35,000 jobs
    • Health Care and Social Assistance grew by 24,700

  • Professional and Business Services grew by 50,000
    • Temporary work added 46,500 jobs in December

Wage (can be revised):

  • The average weekly paycheck (seasonally adjusted) is $624.16 – a drop from $631.48 in November
  • The average hourly earning (seasonally adjusted) is $18.80 – up slightly more than 2 cents
  • The average hourly work week stayed at 33.2

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Report Stats Summary


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