NFP: -85,000 (So Much For that Upside)

Employment Situation Summary:

Establishment Survey Data: Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-85,000) in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment fell in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.

Household Survey Data: In December, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.3 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, were unchanged. At the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.7 million, and the unemployment rate was 5.0 percent. (See table A-1.)

Those making forecasts of +100k 200k 300k plus must be surprised and disappointed.

The details:

• November 2009 Payrolls were revised to a gain of 4,000 from a loss of 11,000; October was revised downwards by 15k;

• U3 Unemployment rate held steady at 10%;

• U6 Unemployment ticked up 0.1% to 17.3%;

• Q4 2009 employment losses averaged 69,000 per month; this compares with Q1 job losses of 691,000 a month;

• Temp workers increased 46,500 — the 5th straight monthly gain;

• Total lost jobs lost since the recession began in December 2007  is 7.2 million.

• This is the worst recession in terms of employment and jobs lost, both in actual numbers, and as a percentage of all jobs, of any cycle since World War II was ending in 1944-45.

Gainers and Losers:

Factory payrolls down 27,000
Auto manufacturing and parts industries down 4,900
Construction jobs fell 53,000;
Retail payrolls decreased by 10,200
Service industries (banks, insurance companies, restaurants) subtracted 4,000 workers

Health care employment increased by 22,000.
Financial firms increased payrolls by 4,000

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