This morning’s payrolls data surprised to the downside as the labor market remains weaker than it should be at this stage of a recovery. Total non-farm payrolls grew by 103,000 while total private payrolls jumped 113,000. The November revision was +70,000. The unemployment rate did decline to 9.4% from 9.8%. Overall, not a great number, but not disastrous. Via the BLS:
“The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 9.4 percent in December, and nonfarm payroll employment increased by 103,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in leisure and hospitality and in health care but was little changed in other major industries.
The number of unemployed persons decreased by 556,000 to 14.5 million in December, and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent. Over the year, these measures were down from 15.2 million and 9.9 percent, respectively.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 103,000 in December. Employment rose in leisure and hospitality and in health care but changed little in other major industries. Since December 2009, total payroll employment has increased by 1.1 million, or an average of 94,000 per month.”