Despite the holiday rush in the retail sector, job growth slowed compared to November, coming in at 223,000 new Nonfarm payrolls. While lower than the previous month, however, the number of jobs increased more than projected for the last month of 2022. Transportation and Warehouse openings rose by 5,000 in December. Unemployment dropped slightly to 5.7 million, levelling out to 3.5% from the previous month. The number of jobs per person didn’t change from the 1.7 jobs available for unemployed persons in November. This report shows that the employee-driven market is still strong, even as the Federal Reserve continues to try and mitigate these inflationary trends.
November's Job Opening and Turnover Survey
At the end of November, job openings increased very slightly to 10.5 million, and hires also marginally increased to 6.1 million. The quit rate rose minimally to 4.2 million, and layoffs and discharges did not change from the 1.4 million it was the previous month. Even though the ratio between job openings and the unemployed remains high, the Federal Reserve and experts seem to see a light at the end of the tunnel as wage hikes are slowing down.
There were two sectors that saw an increase in job openings. The number of job openings increased in Professional and Business Services by 212,000. Nondurable Goods Manufacturing also saw an increase of 39,000 job openings. Meanwhile, Finance and Insurance saw a decrease of 75,000, and openings in the Federal Government, excluding education, saw a decrease in job openings by 44,000.
While there was little change in the number of quits (4.2 million) and layoffs/discharges (1.4 million), there were notable increases in the number of quits in the Health Care sector (+82,000), Transportation, Warehouse, and Utilities sector (+76,000), and Information sector (+19,000).
December's Jobs Report
Non-farm payroll grew by 223,000 in December. Unemployment edged downward slightly at 3.5%, as the labor force participation rate increased slightly to 62.3%.
Transportation and Warehousing jobs increased by 5,000, with the biggest gain being in Air Transportation at 3,000. Leisure and Hospitality (+67,000) made big gains in December but are still 932,000 short of their pre-pandemic levels. Healthcare (+55,000), Government (+3,000), Other Service Industries (+14,000), Construction (+28,000), and Manufacturing (+8,000) all saw gains in December.
The December Jobs Report and the November Job Opening and Turnover Survey are still only showing minor signs of the decrease in inflationary pressures desired by the Federal Reserve. It is still a job seekers market, but, with a shallow recession still on the horizon in 2023 according to experts, expectations of job seekers will need to be managed to take that into account.
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Meaghan Goldberg covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone. A Patterson, GA native, after graduating from both Valdosta State University and Middle Tennessee State University, Meaghan joined Lionzone in 2018 as a digital recruitment strategist before becoming the social media manager.