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Economic Data (USA)

Friday, January 04, 2019

Employment Situation Report for December 2018

The Employment Situation Report for December 2018 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +180,000
Actual: +312,000

U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 3.9%
Previous Month: 3.7%
12 Months Previous: 4.1%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 7.6%
Previous Month: 7.6%
12 Months Previous: 8.1%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.402% (+$0.11)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +3.0%
Actual: +3.153% (+$0.84)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: +0.694% (+$6.53)

Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +3.153% (+$28.98)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 63.1%
Previous Month: 62.9%
12 Months Previous: 62.7%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.5 hours
Actual: 34.5 hours

Economist, academics, central bankers and investors pay very close attention to the monthly Employment Situation report as it offers penetrating insight as to the current and near-future state of the overall U.S. economy. If a) Americans are earning more money and b) the economy is creating new jobs, this typically translates to more money being pumped into the economy (and vice versa.)

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From today's report:

In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 11 cents to $27.48 [+0.402%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 84 cents, or [+3.153%]. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 9 cents to $23.05 [+0.392%] in December.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up from +155,000 to +176,000, and the change for October was revised up from +237,000 to +274,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November combined were 58,000 more than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.)
After revisions, job gains have averaged 254,000 per month over the last 3 months..." [Establishment Survey Data]

 * =  The U-6 Unemployment Rate is defined as:

"Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force."



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