Economy Added 200,000 Jobs, Unemployment Fell in December

The economy added 200,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the Labor Department reported on Friday. 


Economists surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of the release expected payrolls to add 155,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to rise to 8.7 percent. It takes about 90,000 new jobs every month just to keep pace with population growth. 

Employers added 100,000 jobs in November, a 20,000-job downward revision from earlier reports. The surprising drop in unemployment from 9.0 to 8.6 percent in November was partly due to job seekers becoming discouraged and no longer looking for work.

In December, the labor force participation rate held steady, suggesting that the drop in unemployment was due to payrolls growing rather than discouraged job seekers. The U-6 number, a broader measure of unemployment than the headline unemployment rate, fell from 15.6 percent in November to 15.2 percent in December.

Presented by

Catherine Hollander is a staff reporter (economy and budget) for National Journal.

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Business

Just In