December 2020 Employment Summary

  • On January 14, 2021

Staff Solve strives to assist employers and job seekers with information and process hiring, but the overall economic picture of employment trends in the United States and possible factors involved for December. December 2020 employment summary

For the month of December, the unemployment rate of 6.7 percent from November remained unchanged. This is believed to be a result of the decrease in leisure and hospitality employment opportunities while professional and business services, retail trade, and construction experienced gains. Another reason for unchanged employment is the increased worry of the coronavirus as the holidays lead to an increased number of cases.  

Temporary layoffs increased by 277,00 to result in an overall 3.0 million. Since April, this has decreased significantly (an estimated 18.1 million) but does not meet or surpass the low before the coronavirus affected the market. Permanent job losers decreased by 348,000 but still higher when compared to data from February. The number of unemployed persons who were jobless for less than 5 weeks increased to 449,000 while those jobless 15 to 26 weeks decreased by 303,000. Long-term unemployed persons, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, remained unchanged as questions about the virus created a standstill. 

Part-time employment decreased by 471,000, even though they preferred full-time employment opportunities, and worked part-time because their hours were reduced or unable to find full-time positions. Data revealed that 23.7% of the labor force teleworked during this month due to the pandemic and the risks of spreading during the holiday season.

Employment declined in the leisure and hospitality sector by 498,000 and 372,000 in food services and drinking places. Other industries that experienced a decline in employment opportunities were amusements, gambling, and recreation (92,000) and accommodation (24,000). Private education decreased by 63,000 with the government and its affiliates’ opportunities decreased by 45,000. Personal laundry services lost 22,000 with employment from other service industries down by 453,000 since February.

The top three industries hiring in November were transportation and warehousing, professional and business services, and health care. Professional and business services noticed an increase of 161,000, with a large gain in temporary help services, Computer systems design and related services rose 20,000, while other professional and technical services as well as management of companies and enterprises by 11,000. Retail trade contributed 121,000 this month, with near half of its growth in general merchandise stores like warehouse clubs and supercenters. Nonstore retailers gained 14,000, automobile dealers by 13,000, food and beverage by 8,000, and health and personal care stores by 10,000.   

Construction employment rose 51,000, with residential specialty trade contractors adding 14,000 and residential building adding 9,000. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors increased by 18,000 with heavy and civil engineering following at 15,000. Transportation and warehousing employment rose by 47,000, with job gains noted in warehousing and storage (8,000) and truck transportation (7,000).  

Employment in health care rose by 39,000, with gains noted in hospitals (32,000) and ambulatory health care services (21,000). Manufacturing increased by 38,000, motor vehicles and parts by 7,000, and nonmetallic mineral products by 6,000. Wholesale trade rose by 25,000 with durable and nondurable goods following at 11,000. Industries with unchanged data include mining, information services, and financial activities.

The average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls for November are $29.81, an estimated increase of twenty-three cents. The average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees were also changed to $25.09, a twenty-cent increase. 
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December 2020 employment summary

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