Jumpin’ Ju-Ju Bones…. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases the December 2018 jobs report and the numbers are “eye-popping.” ♦In the month of December 312,000 new jobs were added. ♦Real wage growth now 3.2%. ♦Prior October and November jobs reports were adjusted upward by 58,000 jobs. Main Street USA is roaring!!
Here’s the data: Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 312,000 in December. The unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent (more static workers entering workforce).
Employment in health care rose by 50,000 in December. Within the industry, job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+38,000) and hospitals (+7,000). Health care added 346,000 jobs in 2018, more than the gain of 284,000 jobs in 2017.
In December, employment in food services and drinking places increased by 41,000. Over the year, the industry added 235,000 jobs, similar to the increase in 2017 (+261,000).
Construction employment rose by 38,000 in December, with job gains in heavy and civil engineering construction (+16,000) and nonresidential specialty trade construction (+16,000). The construction industry added 280,000 jobs in 2018, compared with an
increase of 250,000 in 2017.
Manufacturing added 32,000 jobs in December. Most of the gain occurred in the durable goods component (+19,000), with job growth in fabricated metal products (+7,000) and in computer and electronic products (+4,000). Employment in the nondurable goods component also increased over the month (+13,000). Manufacturing employment increased by 284,000 over the year, with about three-fourths of the gain in durable goods industries. Manufacturing had added 207,000 jobs in 2017.
In December, employment in retail trade rose by 24,000. Job growth occurred in general merchandise stores (+15,000) and automobile dealers (+6,000). These gains were partially offset by a job loss in sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-9,000). Retail trade employment increased by 92,000 in 2018, after little net change in 2017 (-29,000).
Over the month, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up (+43,000). The industry added 583,000 jobs in 2018, outpacing the 458,000 jobs added in 2017.
♦ In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 11 cents to $27.48. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 84 cents, or ¹3.2 percent.
¹Remember, inflation is currently estimated at 1.6% to 2% (depending on sector). Lower tax rates, higher wages, low inflation combined with lower gas prices means extra money in workers pockets; quite a bit of extra money actually. This helps explain the more than six percent increase in 2018 holiday spending. Almost every economic benefit is central to Main Street USA (blue and white collar).
♦ The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up from +155,000 to +176,000 (increase of 21,000; the change for October was revised up from +237,000 to +274,000 (increase of 37,000). With these revisions, employment gains in October and November combined were 58,000 more than previously reported.
After revisions, job gains have averaged 254,000 per month over the last 3 months. (BLS Links)
The talking heads are stunned – watch: