Despite a large decline in the manufacturing
industry, employment rose modestly in December. The unemployment rate remained
at 4.0%. Monthly gains in the last quarter of 2000 have averaged 77,000,
compared with an average of 187,000 in the first nine months. The job data
continued the trend of reports depicting a downturn in the
Total nonfarm payroll increased by 105,000, according
to the Labor Department's December 2000 Employment Report, slightly exceeding
analyst expectations. A deeper look shows:
- Government employment was up 56,000, after being
down 54,000 in November.
- Construction employment was down 13,000 due to a
second consecutive month of adverse weather.
- Transportation and public utilities employment added
23,000 jobs, spurred by increases in trucking/warehousing and air
- Employment in services gained 81,000 jobs.
- Retail trade was unchanged, after a 46,000 increase
- Wholesale trade employment increased by 14,000, most
occurring in nondurable goods distribution.
After two consecutive months of no change, the
manufacturing industry dropped 62,000 jobs in December, bringing its Year
2000 total decline to 178,000. Some of the losers are listed below.
- Primary metals (9,000)
- Motor vehicles (8,000)
- Rubber and miscellaneous plastics (8,000)
- Apparel (9,000)
- Textiles (5,000)
At a Glance: Hours and
- The manufacturing workweek dropped 0.8 hour to 40.4
hours; overtime declined to 0.3 hour to 4.0 hours.
- Average hourly earnings rose 5 cents to $14.01,
helping to raise earnings almost 25 cents in the second half of 2000.
- Average weekly earnings fell 0.2% to $477.74.
- Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings and
weekly earnings have increased by 4.2% and 3.0%, respectively.