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Nonfarm payroll employment added 216,000 jobs in December, according to the latest BLS jobs report, which brings 2023’s total job growth to 2.7 million (a monthly average of +225,000 jobs). This figure is roughly half of 2022’s 4.8 million jobs (a monthly average of +399,000 jobs). 

The unemployment rate in December remained at 3.7%, accounting for 6.3 million unemployed people, higher than the figures from a year earlier (3.5% and 5.7 million, respectively). The labor force participation inched down to 62.5% in December, but hasn’t changed much over the span of 2023.

Government (+52,000), leisure and hospitality (+40,000), and healthcare (+38,000) had the most job gains over the month. Meanwhile, job losses persisted in temporary help services in December — the industry decreased by 33,000 jobs last month and has lost a total of 346,000 jobs since its peak in March 2022.

October’s job count was revised in the latest report, down from +150,000 to +105,000, and November’s total was revised down from +199,999 to +173,000. This is a combined change of -71,000 jobs.