WASHINGTON (Jan. 9, 2017) — Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 156,000 jobs in December 2016, according to the last employment report the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will issue during the Obama administration.
The unemployment rate inched up to 4.7 percent from November's 4.6 percent, the BLS said in its Jan. 6 report.
Among the employment sectors that saw the biggest gains were health care (up 43,000 jobs), food services and drinking places (up 30,000 jobs) and social assistance (up 20,000 jobs), the report said.
Manufacturing jobs increased by 17,000 in December, an unusually large gain for that sector, but were down 63,000 for the year, according to the BLS. Transportation and warehousing gained 15,000 jobs, the agency said.
The BLS total figures closely matched those of payroll services firm ADP Inc., which reported a gain of 153,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in December.
Medium-sized businesses (50 to 499 employees) had the largest increases with 71,000 jobs, according to the ADP report issued Jan. 5.
Large businesses (more than 500 employees) added 63,000 jobs during the month, and small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) gained 18,000 jobs, ADP said. (ADP numbers don't always add up, because of rounding.)
Unlike the BLS report, ADP said manufacturing lost 9,000 jobs in December. Trade/transportation/utilities had the biggest gains, with 82,000 jobs, it said.
Franchise employment increased by 23,300 in December, including 4,600 new jobs in auto parts and dealers, ADP said.
Meanwhile, the December Jobs Report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) showed that NFIB members were looking forward to the presidency of Donald Trump.
According to the report, the largest percentage of small business owners since 2007 said they planned to hire in December, according to NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan.
"After years of ball-and-chain regulations, high taxes, and spiraling health insurance costs, small business owners are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel," Ms. Duggan said. "President-elect Trump has staked out policies that small business owners favor, and he has backed them up with impressive cabinet nominations."
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) noted that the 17,000-job gain in manufacturing was the largest in months.
"That's a big improvement from the past five months, which all saw manufacturing job loss," wrote AAM blogger Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch.
"The fact that thousands of new jobs were created shows us that manufacturing job growth is possible," Brotherton-Bunch said. "But we shouldn't get too excited yet; this is only one month, after all.
"(President-elect) Trump has promised to make manufacturing job growth a priority during his time in office—and here at the Alliance of American Manufacturing, we plan to hold him to that promise," Brotherton-Bunch said.