Jobs Decline For The First Time In 8 Months

Nonfarm payrolls fell for the first time since a pandemic driven plunge in April. Leisure and Hospitality jobs were hammered.

BLS Jobs Statistics at a Glance

The BLS reports total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 140,000 in December with private jobs down by 95,000.

The Bloomberg Econoday consensus was an increase of 50,000 jobs. ADP Estimated a Loss of 123,000 Private  Jobs, nearly on the nose.

Details from the monthly BLS Employment Report.

  • Nonfarm Payroll: -140,000 to 142,624,000 - Establishment Survey
  • Employment: +21,000 to 149,830,000- Household Survey
  • Unemployment: +8,000 to 10,736,000- Household Survey
  • Baseline Unemployment Rate: +0.0 to 6.7% - Household Survey
  • U-6 unemployment: -0.3 to 11.7% - Household Survey
  • Civilian Non-institutional Population: +145,000 to 261,085,000
  • Civilian Labor Force: +31,000 to 160,567,000 - Household Survey
  • Not in Labor Force: +115,000 to 100,663,000 - Household Survey
  • Participation Rate: +0.0 to 61.5% - Household Survey

Initial Reaction

This is the first time payrolls declined since a steep 20.8 million plunge in April. 

Leisure and Hospitality lost nearly a half-million jobs. 

In December, job losses in leisure and hospitality and in private education were partially offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, and construction. 

BLS Error Rate

For March through November, BLS published an estimate of what the unemployment rate would have been had misclassified workers been included among the unemployed. Repeating this same approach, the overall December unemployment rate would have been 0.6 percentage point higher than reported. However, this represents the upper bound of our estimate of misclassification and probably overstates the size of the| misclassification error. 

According to usual practice, the data from the household survey are accepted as recorded. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to reclassify | survey responses.

I strongly question the accuracy of the BLS assertion that 0.6% is the high end of their error rate.

Also, note the rise this month to 0.6% is up from 0.3% a few months ago. The trend in the error rate has been rising. 

1 2 3 4
View single page >> |
How did you like this article? Let us know so we can better customize your reading experience. Users' ratings are only visible to themselves.


Leave a comment to automatically be entered into our contest to win a free Echo Show.