US economy adds 223K jobs in December
FOX Business’ Gerri Willis breaks down the ‘better than expected’ December jobs report.
U.S. job growth came in stronger than expected in December, boosted by a rush of hiring at bars and restaurants.
Employers added 223,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said in its monthly payroll report released Friday, topping the 200,000 jobs forecast by Refinitiv economists. Still, it marks a slight deceleration from the downwardly revised gain of 256,000 in November and is the worst month for job creation since December 2020. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, unexpectedly fell to 3.5%, a five-decade low.
"The labor market was still tight at the end of 2022, but the quality of jobs available to American workers has declined," said Bill Adams, chief economist at Comerica Bank. "Tech, finance, and manufacturing employers are laying off workers, while hiring continues in lower-paying industries like leisure and hospitality."
US JOB GROWTH COOLS SLIGHTLY IN DECEMBER AS ECONOMY ADDS 223,000 NEW POSITIONS
Although job gains were broad-based last month, the leisure and hospitality sector – the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic – led the way in hiring, adding another 67,000 workers last month. Bars and restaurants accounted for the bulk of those gains, adding 26,300 workers in December. Amusement, gambling and recreation places onboarded 24,500 workers, and hotels saw payrolls grow by 10,000.
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Employment in the leisure and hospitality industry still remains about 932,000 – or 5.5% – below its pre-pandemic levels.
Health care accounted for the second-largest area of growth in December, with payrolls climbing by 54,700. The increases were widespread across the industry. Hospitals hired 15,700 workers while home health care services saw payrolls increase by 10,800. Doctors' offices added 12,300 employees, and nursing care facilities hired 5,700 workers. On average, the industry added about 49,000 jobs per month in 2022.