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  • Writer's pictureNick Andriacchi

December 2020 Jobs Numbers

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

Key Points:

  • Temporary help gained 67,000 jobs in December. The monthly winning streak extends to 8 and the penetration rate of total non-farm employment is 1.91%, an increase of .05%.

  • Excluding hospitality and leisure, the economy created 358,000 jobs.

  • Job gains were concentrated in warehousing, construction, retail as well as professional and business services.



inside the numbers:

Analysis of the December Employment Report

  • Prime age labor force participation rate (ages 25-54) was up this month by .1% to 81.0%. While the number has improved since April, it is still down by .9% year-over-year,

  • The overall labor force participation edged down to 61.5%. This is 2.1% below its February level.

  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 23 cents to $29.81.

  • The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was down .1 at 34.7 hours in December. In manufacturing, the workweek was unchanged at 40.2 hours, and overtime increased by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.2 hours.

JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – Report released January, 12 2021

  • On the last business day of November, the number and rate of job openings were little changed at 6.5 million and 4.4 percent, respectively. There are 10.74 million workers that the government considers unemployed. The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions.

  • In November, the number of hires was little changed at 6.0 million, and the hires rate was unchanged at 4.2 percent. Hires increased in professional and business services (+175,000) and mining and logging (+13,000). Hires decreased in accommodation and food services (-73,000), other services (-67,000), and information (-43,000). The number of hires was little changed in all four regions.

  • The separations rate rose for the month as 271,000 workers lost or left their jobs, a 3.8% rate compared with 3.6% in October. The gain was due primarily to the leisure and hospitality rate, which surged to 8.2% from 5.8%. The rate is computed by dividing the number of separations by total employment and multiplying by 100.


  • .Large numbers of hires and separations occur every month throughout the business cycle. Net employment change results from the relationship between hires and separations. When the number of hires exceeds the number of separations, employment rises, even if the hires level is steady or declining. Conversely, when the number of hires is less than the number of separations, employment declines, even f the hires level is steady or rising.


  • Over the 12 months ending in November, hires totaled 70.7 million and separations totaled 75.9 million, yielding a net employment loss of 5.2 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

· Private payrolls fell by 123,000 in December, according to a report from ADP.


Source: US Bureau of Labor and Statistics

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