IES Blog

December brings more job opportunities

Posted on January 6th, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

The U.S. unemployment rate declined again in December, dropping from November's 8.7 percent rate to 8.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overall, 200,000 new jobs were added last month, with the biggest increases coming in transportation and warehousing (50,000), retail trade (28,000) and manufacturing (23,000). Construction remained stable, a positive sign given its hardships following the burst of the housing bubble.

Other news included the fact that November's overall job gains were revised lower from 120,000 to 100,000, while October's  were positively modified from 100,000 to 112,000.

"This is a really solid report, a huge step in the right direction," said Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, as quoted by The Los Angeles Times.

Payroll management workers likely made positive changes to salaries as well, as the average hourly earnings in the private nonfarm sector rose 0.2 percent to $23.24.

Forbes cautions, however, that the financial services sector continues to struggle, as large firms such as Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup all announced "sizable cuts" in 2011. The news source predicts that trend will continue into 2012.  

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