Payrolls Tread Water Once Again in December 2012

The BLS unemployment report shows total nonfarm payroll jobs gained were 155,000 for December 2012. October was revised down by 1,000 to 137,000 job and November was revised up, from 146,000 to 161,000 in employment gained. Many in the press are implying this is a good report when the monthly gain represents the very weak job growth America have been experiencing for the last two years.



The BLS employment report is actually two separate surveys and we overviewed the current population survey in this article.

The start of the great recession was declared by the NBER to be December 2007. The United States is now down -3.961 million jobs from December 2007, five years ago. The ongoing employment crisis just hit the half decade anniversary.



The below graph is a running tally of how many official jobs are permanently lost, from the establishment survey since Decemember 2007.



We broke down the CES by industry to see what kind of percentage changes we have on the share of total number of payroll jobs from 2008 until now. Below is the percentage breakdown of jobs by industry for January 2008.




We expected to see construction jobs shrink relative to total payrolls and it did, by 1.2 percentage points. The financial sector, only shrank 0.2 percentage points as it's share of payroll jobs, in spite of being the maelstrom behind the recession. Manufacturing, of which the auto industry is a part, has contracted an entire percentage point as share of total jobs. While some will blame technological advances, we suspect offshore outsourcing continues. Our manufacturing sector erodes and the only real growth field is in health care. From these two pie charts we can see the job market has changed into more crappy, low paying service jobs.


ces jobs by industry 12-2012 pie chart


For the year, the United States has gained 1,835,000 jobs payroll jobs. In the year previous, the U.S. had gained 1.84 million jobs. This tells us jobs have been growing at the same pace for two years and not fast enough to employ the 12.21 million official unemployed, never mind the estimated 19-24 million Americans who really need a good job.

Just to keep up with population growth, we need at least 100,000 jobs per month or 1.2 million a year and this estimate assumes the current low labor participation rates.

Private Sector jobs, or jobs not from the government gained 168 thousand in payrolls, yet are still down -3.51 million jobs from December 2007. Good producing jobs, which usually have higher paying ones, by by 59 thousand for December. Service producing jobs, which includes our fast food and big box mart workers, increased by 109,000. Merry Christmas. Below is a graph of just the private sector payroll losses since December 2007.



Manufacturing alone has lost -1.735 million jobs since January 2008. This month manufacturing gained 25,000 jobs with durable goods manufacturing being 11,000 of manufacturing's employment increases.


unemployment rate


This month the auto & parts manufacturing gained 4.8 thousand jobs but since December 2007, the auto manufacturing industry is still down -166,000 jobs.


automotive manufacturing jobs


Government overall lost -13,000 jobs for December with -14,000 job losses in local government and -3,000 in Federal. Government, especially at the state and local level has been hemorrhaging jobs. Since January 2008, all government payrolls are down -451,000 jobs.



Construction has just been hammered due to the housing bubble collapse as well as the recession. This month construction gained 30,000 jobs, most likely from rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy. From the beginning of the 2008 jobs in the construction field are down -1.917 million jobs.



Financial activities payrolls are now down -443,000 jobs since the start of the recession. This month the financial sector gained 9,000 jobs.



Retail trade, which are your retail sales outlets like big box marts, direct mailing and anything retailing merchandise, is down -671 thousand jobs since the start of 2008 and this month lost -11.3 thousand jobs. These were mainly low paying jobs. Clothing stores alone lost -18.7 thousand jobs in December, the height of the holiday season.



Education and health services has consistently been increasing and this month was no exception 65,000 additional jobs and of those jobs 44.5 thousand were in health care while 10.3 thousand were education jobs. A total of 1.926 million jobs have been gained in education & health services since the start of 2008.



Professional & Business services contains management, career professionals, science & technical, administrative and support and finally waste services and this month gained 19 thousand jobs. Since the start of the great recession this industry sector had added only 14,000 jobs, contrary to the many claims of a worker shortage.



Transportation and warehousing also has still not recovered their jobs and are down -144 thousand since January 2008. This sector has been losing jobs for recent months with December's loss being -600. These are services for moving of people as well as cargo and also storage.



Wholesale trade didn't change, a -100 job change from last month and information lost -9,000 jobs.

Below is a bar chart showing the payroll growth since January 2008. We see health care being the only sector that has really grown.


ces jobs by industry 12-12 payroll growth since recession


Bottom line this is yet another treading water report when labor strongly needs to see some growth. The fact this is the five year anniversary of the employment crisis casts a long shadow for America's workforce.

Here is last month's CES overview, only some graphs revised and here is our article overviewing December's unemployment statistics.

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The Crisis (jobs) will continue and get worse - down the crapper

We don't need to see some growth - we need massive, unprecedented growth. Is that going to happen? No, because the reason we need such massive growth (I'd settle for 500,000+ good jobs/month because why should we settle for less when so many are unemployed) is the very same reason we won't see it - jobs are being destroyed/sent overseas/Americans are being replaced. So why should things change and why expect change after 2007, 2008, 2009 . . . Large corporations are making record profits and the status quo suits them and the govt. just fine. It's like asking a billionaire that doesn't break a sweat and enjoys three homes, two mistresses, and one fat wallet to do something different so someone else can share his wealth and control of the government. Why would he? Status quo suits him just fine. And as for the parents of college grads and the college grads and unemployed veterans that are unemployed for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5+ years, and every other American among the 28+ million unemployed, change isn't going to come from those enjoying the status quo. And I think they are getting awfully tired of hearing "start a business, be an entrepreneur," "work for free,". Start a business and get crushed by large competitors (e.g., Walmart)?. Pay taxes while large companies get tax breaks? Take out a loan when most small businesses fail and lose any money they might have saved while struggling to survive? Work for free while idiot sons of corporate thieves never worked their entire lives and still earn billions from their families? Really? Race to the bottom is in full flush mode and cynicism and contempt should be rising with every passing day. Unless the next election in 2014 or 2016 or 2018 or 2020 or the Democrats or the Republicans or the Democrats, no the Republicans will fix it this time. And with every passing day, how many people are ignored and needlessly suffering?

the press

It is astounding the MSM coverage. They act like all is fine and now 100k, 150k monthly job gains is great when it is not. That's why I lay out these monthly figures, even though the resolution isn't good enough really to figure out the percentages of good jobs to crappy ones. They tell us only health care, or taking care of sick people is growing and that is not an industry to bet the economy on.

But University of Phoenix says it's all good too (ha ha ha)

It's pretty sick the way for-profit colleges are advertising their "partnerships" with Adobe, Microsoft, etc. as if these companies and colleges are going to take $50,000 - $100,000 in federally subsidized loans and somehow turn out people that are definitely going to be hired by Microsoft or Apple or Goldman, pay off the loans before they turn 500 years old, and get promoted over a long, healthy life to collect a sweet pension and gold watch? Bull. There is some tax incentive or kickback scheme involving schools, corporations, and the government that is creating these new lies. And when I speak of "for profit," I should also include Ivy League schools, public Ivies, large public schools of all ranks, mid and small schools, community colleges, etc. - basically every school under the Sun. Because when these people are pulling in six and seven figures in faculties and administration buildings across all schools and majors and grad fields, hiring TAs that work for free and often can't teach effectively because they simply cannot teach well and don't understand English, and kids are leaving schools with educational debt loads of $50,000 - $200,000 that they can never escape no matter what subject they majored in, what school they went to, and how bright they are, it's all for profit.

Healthcare? Classic high-priced education that leads to nothing, those jobs are passed out to visa applicants quicker than a bedpan can be changed. If someone can actually land one of those gigs, it will pay him/her a sweet $10-$15/hr. - good luck paying off a loan that outpaces loanshark rates while dripping in feces for the pleasure. The same thing happens in the food industry. Everyone watching Food Network and is into food/cooking thinks they need to drop $20,000 - $100,000 on a culinary education and they too will be opening restaurant after restaurant and become a celebrity chef. Reality hits them hard when they start at the same wages people were earning before culinary degrees somehow became important. Only now they have massive debt and can compete with people willing to work for $2/hr. Architecture? Law? Engineering? There's no field or sector that's getting better, no job that's safe, and no area that doesn't have people at the very top pulling some crime or scam to loot the desperate people below looking for any way possible to improve their lot despite getting financially raped or fleeced by the tiny criminal elite at the top. And all the words spoken and written by those with a clue aren't changing anything. Can't wait to see how it all ends - should be a doozy.

globalization killing ethics

Good point, this profit at the expense of society is destroying ethics, which built up nations.