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Calculated Risk chart of job growth, excluding Census bump, for December 2012
Chart from Calculated Risk of monthly job growth, excluding the Census hiring bump.
The December jobs report showed a continuation of steady gains, but while those gains were enough to keep pace with population growth, they fell short of what's needed to make a serious reduction in unemployment:
Despite their concerns about looming tax increases and government spending cuts, American employers added 155,000 jobs in December, about apace with job growth over the last year, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

The biggest gains were in health care, food services, construction and manufacturing, and the government sector showed modest job losses, the report said. The unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, the same as in November, whose rate was revised up from 7.7 percent.

“It’s not a home-run report by any stretch, but it’s constructive,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics. “It’s another month of fairly stable, solid, moderate job creation.”

Over the course of 2012, the country added 1.8 million jobs, despite continued job losses in the government sector and anxiety related to the presidential election and scheduled tax increases and spending cuts.

Although November's unemployment rate was revised up from 7.7 percent to 7.8 percent, the number of jobs created were revised up as well, going from 146,000 to 161,000. The October numbers were revised down by 1,000 jobs.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:56 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.


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Comment Preferences

  •  BLS fudged the numbers again (8+ / 0-)

    to make Obama look good. Or lots of people left the workforce when their unemployment benefits expired.

    That's gotta be it. /wingnut

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:00:19 AM PST

    •  These numbers are not that good (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, dinotrac, blue aardvark

      unless you consider that we are still recovering from a huge depression.
      It's all perspective.

      There are very few subjects which do not interest or fascinate me.

      by NYFM on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:04:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The numbers are not even that good.

      •  Did you miss the "snark" tag on the comment? n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Anima, HeyMikey, NYFM
        •  blue aardvark says the numbers are good (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac, shmuelman, blue aardvark

          unless you're a wingnut and say they are bad.
          Objectively, I say the numbers are bad, but in the context of economic armageddon they can be called good.
          The participating workforce continues to shrink.   That's bad.
          Compared to austerity crazed Europe we are doing well though.
          Again, it's all perspective.

          There are very few subjects which do not interest or fascinate me.

          by NYFM on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:27:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wow - Great Numbers! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl, blue aardvark

        As an economist once said, the US inflation rate is computed after inflation is removed.

        Good ol' U3 unemployment numbers - after half the unemployed people are taken out of the mix - is down below 8%! What a great economy! It's all happening!
        Real unemployment, the U-6 number, is around 14.4%.
        And in the big picture, I think this is still low. The middle class is sinking from any number of factors, people taking permanent pay cuts for shit jobs, real inflation that is outpacing wages on things you actually use like food and fuel, the aftereffects of the housing bubble killing net worth, outrageously spiraling health care costs, the 40% unemployment rate in the under 25 yo set draining the parents' income.

        "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

        by shmuelman on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:37:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent numbers. Explains why GOP is still (0+ / 0-)

          trying to destroy the economy.

          Delenda est filibuster!

          by TofG on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:37:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And by excellent, do you mean not a total debacle? (0+ / 0-)

            I am sorry, I am not marching off the edge of the cliff to support Obama and the Democratic Party neo-liberals because of token improvements in the employment picture.
            There is no doubt in my mind that we must work towards a significant restructuring of the national economy towards long term  sustainability or we will move into a permanent recession where 30% of the population can't afford enough protein, medical care is closed to more than half the population, 30% can afford to see a dentist, only 30% can afford a college education. The wealth is being drained at an unprecedented rate to support the unlimited wealth of a tiny fragment of the population and the fact that WalMart is hiring has no meaning to me.

            "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

            by shmuelman on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:18:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Watch construction in (4+ / 0-)

    the next few months.

    Here comes housing, I think...could be very, very good. The Folks I use for my home - electrician, contractor, plumber, all of them - are SLAMMED all of a sudden.

    Just get past the March stupidity (fiscal cliffs 2, 3 and 4, apparently) and the economy will start chugging.

    •  Construction in California will rise (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Look at what's going on in the new Transbay Center being built.  That's going to shakeup things as far as the economy is concerned and quite a number of workers are employed there.

      Also, there's the big Lennar Corp. project at the Bayview/Hunter's Point area in San Francisco that's going to employ loads of construction workers BIG time.

      If you're someone like Wall Street's idiot Stephen Moore, then sure the economy isn't doing that great.  However, considering what the U.S. dealt with in 2008-2009, the economy is still picking up while the U.S. is in a serious deficit and debt situation.

      The Bay Area, California is doing just great.  There are a lot of awesome things going on here.

  •  Continuing disaster. Job recovery by 2027. 2027!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, shmuelman

    The CBO says we need 88,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth. So if we added 155,000 jobs, we reduced the number of unemployed people by only 67,000.

    The Hamilton Project has a handy gizmo that lets you plug in your own estimate of jobs-per-month and see how long it takes us to get back to 2007's level of employment. 155,000 is approximately our average for the last 12 months. Plug in that number for the long term and we don't get back to 2007 employment till 2027.

    NOT A TYPO: 2027.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:26:53 AM PST

    •  Don't know where that 88,000 comnes from. (0+ / 0-)

      The number I have seen most often is about 135,000 jobs.

      It's possible, I suppose, that population growth has slowed enough to drive that number down.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:41:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It comes from the CBO. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        (1) This says the CBO says "just under 90,000":

        Note that a commenter there disagrees and says the number must be higher.

        (2) Click the link in my original comment and read the fine print under the graph. It says 88,000.

        (3) Here's the 26-page CBO report [PDF]:

        I can't find a simple jobs-per-month figure in that report; apparently you have to be more of economist than me, or more patient, to intepret the data.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:20:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What we need now is consistent... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, cactusgal, a gilas girl

    ...Public Sector growth.

    Even if it is tepid (say a net 5,000 jobs a month for 3-4 months) to start.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:28:30 AM PST

  •  Note to the EDITOR: (0+ / 0-)

    We wont' know for at least three months when all that data has been rectified. The report is only preliminary and isn't representative of real-time data. Please inform your readers of the same.

  •  Disastrous performance for many. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lonely Liberal in PA

    The growth levels are not sufficient to reach down to many long-term unemployed people.  We already have a problem with "the unemployed need not apply" positions.  Without a robust recovery, the kind that makes it hard for employers to find good people, an awful lot of good people will be forever ruined for the sin of being in the wrong job at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:43:58 AM PST

  •  Charleston, SC Up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, virginislandsguy

    Construction and tourism are definitely up here in Charelston, SC.  You can tell everywhere from the storage yard for the Porta Pottie company, to the cranes going up around town.  They're building more multifamily apartment buildings for rent than we've seen in a long time and people really want to live in or near downtown.  Transit ridership is up.

    it's not a boom, but things aren't standing still.  I suppose the Republicans can continue to ride the brake in hopes the entire country will surrender to the agenda of the Billionaires, but the rest of us are getting older and it's time to go back to work.

    William Hamilton practices Law and is a writer and community activist in the Charleston, SC area. He can reached through

    by wjhamilton29464 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:02:43 AM PST

  •  Job growth due to Boner's reelection..... (0+ / 0-)

    The re-election of John Boner as House Speaker is clearly the reason the 155,000 jobs were added.

    Business reacted yesterday afternoon to the good pro Business news of Boner being re-elected an..... bingo, 155,000 new jobs.

  •  We need to put jobs stimulus back on the table (3+ / 0-)

    whether if currently seems remotely plausible or not.

    President Obama's $50 billion Infrastructure Bank would be a small step in the right direction.

    We are not going to make progress only by fighting over the size of the austerity bomb cuts.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:29:05 AM PST

  •  I prefer ADP's numbers personally (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I always find it interesting that the U.S. Labor Dept numbers are much lower.  ADP in my view seems to be more accurate.

    I think though this is a general overview of the economy.  In the Bay Area, we're doing just fine.  In fact, DAMN good.  IT/Tech industry, never been better and continues to expand.

  •  When one considers that Europe is, more or less, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in the doldrums, we have a majority made up of lunatic dinosaurs in the House, the U.S. just went through the greatest recession since the 1940s, and all the damage that Bush caused, then this current U.S. economy is surprisingly resilient.

    If we could get some additional revenue coupled with some additional, smart stimulus, the economy might actually start chugging along nicely despite some serious structural deficits.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:20:35 AM PST

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