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New Jobs and Unemployment: December 2023


December new job growth increased from November's 199,000 to 216,000. The unemployment rate remained near an all-time low of 3.7%.


216,000 new jobs for the month places it in the 2nd highest monthly quartile that has occurred over the 38-year time span of 1977-2017.


Professional & Business and Construction grew at a 4% growth rate. Professional includes Contract employment which was up and is a leading indicator of things to come for the employment market.


Health care continues to be a dominant source of jobs.


Weekly initial unemployment claims remain near 40+ year lows.

  1. Introduction and observations

  2. Net New Jobs Created

  3. New Job Total Historical Comparison Using Quartiles

  4. Unemployment Rate

  5. Types of New Jobs

  6. Types of New Jobs Growth Rate

  7. Types of New Jobs: Sub Categories

  8. Types of New Jobs: Sub Categories Growth Rate

  9. Revisions to Prior Month's Reported Totals

  10. Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Filed


2. New job growth for December 2023 came in at 216,000, a very respectable number. The economy continues to produce jobs at a sustainable rate. A rate that should not cause economy overheating by the Federal Reserve in its continued fight against inflation.


3. Taking the month of new jobs from January 1997-March 2017 and ranking them into 4 quartiles, the December 2023 total of 216,000 ranks in the 2nd highest quartile. Over the past 3 years, 97% of the monthly totals have been in the top 2 quartiles.


4. The unemployment rate was unchanged in December 2023 at 3.7% which is slightly about the all-time low unemployment rate attained earlier in 2023.


5. Of the 216,000 new jobs in December 74 or nearly 35% occurred in Private Education and Health Services. Annualized this is a 3% growth rate.


6. Most sectors attained an annual growth rate of 3% with the largest sector: Trade, Transportation and Utilities having zero growth.


7. The top 4 sectors account for 64% of all jobs in the economy. These sectors have subsectors that help identify specifically what types of jobs are growing or constricting. Healthcare had the largest sub-sector growth of 30,000 new jobs.


8. While Health Care had the largest number of new jobs, when annualized, it represents a 3% growth rate. Contract positions were down in October and November. These jobs may have reverted to full-time jobs in other categories.


9. After a month is initially reported, it is subject to revisions over the next 2 months. For example, for October 2023 the initial estimate for this month was 150,000. In November no revisions were made however come December a downward revision of 45,000. Normally monthly revisions are not this large but it should be noted that the total jobs is 157,000,000.


10. Weekly new Unemployment filings continue to be in the low 200,000 range which is a near-record low.


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