WASHINGTON — Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 148,000 jobs in December, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent, according to the BLS employment report issued Jan. 5.
Manufacturing enjoyed a jobs increase of 25,000 during the month, including a gain of 21,000 jobs in durable goods, the agency said. Other large increases were in health care (up 31,000 jobs), construction (up 30,000 jobs) and professional and business services (up 19,000 jobs).
However, retail trade lost 20,000 jobs in December, with employment in general merchandise stores decreasing by 27,000. Wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information and financial activities saw little job change in December, the BLS said.
The government figures contrasted sharply with those from payroll services firm ADP Inc., which produces its own employment reports based on figures from its clients.
The ADP report issued Jan. 3 said that nonfarm employment increased by 250,000 jobs in December 2017. Medium-sized businesses (50 to 499 employees) saw the largest growth with 100,000 new jobs, followed by small businesses (one to 49 employees) with 94,000 and large businesses (500 or more employees) with 56,000.
According to ADP, manufacturing gained only 9,000 jobs in December. This was in contrast to trade/transportation/services, which gained 45,000 jobs during the month, and professional/business services, which gained 72,000, the company said.