Posted January 7, 2022

Factory and construction jobs improved in December

The nation's factories and construction sites added jobs during December, as total nonfarm employment rose by 199,000.

The unemployment rate declined to 3.9 percent,

Manufacturing added 26,000 jobs, primarily in durable goods industries. A job gain in machinery (+8,000) reflected the return of workers from a strike. Manufacturing employment is down by 219,000 since February 2020.

Construction employment rose by 22,000, following monthly gains averaging 38,000 over the prior 3 months. In December, job gains occurred in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+13,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (+10,000). Construction employment is 88,000 below its February 2020 level.

Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 19,000. Job gains occurred in support activities for transportation (+7,000), in air transportation (+6,000), and in warehousing and storage (+5,000). Employment in couriers and messengers was essentially unchanged. Since February 2020, employment in transportation and warehousing is up by 218,000, reflecting job growth in couriers and messengers (+202,000) and in warehousing and storage (+181,000).

Employment in wholesale trade increased by 14,000 but is 129,000 lower than in February 2020.

Mining employment rose by 7,000. Employment in the industry is down by 81,000 from a peak in January 2019.

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