BLS Jobs Report Dec 2021

The December 2021 Jobs Report: What is the Current U.S. Employment Situation?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly overview of the U.S. employment situation and the data for December is much lower than predicted. The Department of Labor’s jobs report examines a range of U.S. jobs data to gauge the overall health of the U.S. economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.

The December jobs report shows slower growth than many were expecting. The unemployment rate declined .3 percentage points to 3.9%, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 199,000, falling short of the 400,000+ numbers that economists projected. The number of unemployed continued its downward trend and decreased to 6.3 million from 6.9 million in November – inching closer to the 5.8 million reported in February 2020, pre-COVID.


BLS unemployment dec 2021

BLS unemployed persons dec 2021

BLS payroll Dec 2021


Here are some other key statistics from the Department of Labor’s jobs report:

  • While the job gains aren’t as high as some were thinking, the unemployment rate has fallen steadily and is close to the 3.5% seen prior to COVID-19.
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 185,000 to 2 million in December and is now less than 1 million away from February 2020’s numbers.
  • The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised by 102,000 to 648,000, and November’s numbers were revised by 39,000 to 249,000.


December brought job gains for sectors including leisure & hospitality, professional & business services, and manufacturing. However, employment showed little or no change in financial activities and health care which had grown in November, while information, other services, and education haven’t grown at all in the past two months. Retail trade showed no change in December after falling in November. Here’s how industries were impacted in December:


BLS Industries report Dec 2021


Overall, the Department of Labor’s jobs report suggests that the economy is getting closer to pre-pandemic levels, but the rate of improvement has slowed.

No matter what challenges or opportunities the labor market brings, find your next job or new hire on iHire.

by: Doug Atkinson
January 07, 2022