The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its December 2022 Report, so let’s take a look at how employment fared over the last month.

The great news is: Leisure and hospitality, health care, construction, and social assistance garnered the largest share of new jobs over the last month. In December, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 people, staying on track with the average growth over the previous three months. The unemployment rate in December declined to 3.5%, remaining in the narrow window of 3.5%-3.7% since March of 2022. The number of unemployed persons decreased to 5.7 million people in December.

The good news is: In December, average hourly earnings for private non-farm payroll jobs increased by 0.3%, or 9 cents, to $32.82. In November, hourly earnings in the private sector and nonsupervisory employees rose by 0.2%, or 6 cents, to $28.07. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.6%. The number of long-term unemployed, people who were without a job for 27 weeks or more, declined in December by 146,000 people, accounting for 18.5% of all unemployed persons.

The bad news is: The number of discouraged workers who believed there were no jobs available to them remained little changed from November at 410,000 people. The number of people not in the labor force who do currently want a job fell to 5.2 million in December, declining y 352,000, and remaining above the pre-pandemic, February 2020 level of 5.1 million people. Keep in mind, these 5.2 million people were not counted as unemployed because they were unavailable to take a job or were not actively looking for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of people who looked for work in the past 12 months and wanted a job, but were not actively searching for employment in the 4 weeks leading up to the survey also declined in December by 231,000 to 1.3 million.

Keep in mind: With the number of unemployed persons remaining relatively steady over recent months, competition in the job market continues to build. To attract the best candidates that are looking to work in your industry, you must show them that you are the most competitive employer in terms of salary, benefits, career stability, remote or flexibility options, and career growth opportunities.

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