United States Unemployment December 2016

United States

United States: Jobs creation stays solid and unemployment rate inches up in December

January 6, 2017

In December, non-farm payrolls grew by 156,000 jobs. The result came in below November’s upwardly revised increase of 204,000 (previously reported: +178,000) and fell 19,000 jobs short of market expectations.

In December, the private sector was once again the main contributor to job creation, adding 144,000 new jobs. In addition, the public sector created 12,000 new jobs. In 2016, the U.S. economy created more than 2.16 million jobs, following the nearly 2.74 million jobs created in 2015.

The unemployment rate, which is derived from a different survey, edged up from 4.6% in November to 4.7% in December. As an annual average rate, unemployment was 4.9% in 2016, which was below the 5.3% in 2015. The result means that Donald Trump is receiving an economy with the lowest unemployment rate in a decade.

Although the unemployment rate was slightly higher in December than in November, this was due more to people joining the workforce than to people looking for a job. The labor participation rate inched up from 62.6% in November to 62.7% in December.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect unemployment to continue falling and average 4.6% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2018, the panel expects the unemployment rate to drop further to 4.5%.


Author:, Senior Economist

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United States Unemployment Chart


USA Unemployment December 2016

Note: Month-on-month variation of non-farm payrolls in thousands and unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted in %.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


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