The U.S. economy continued to lose jobs in December but in the relatively smaller number of 85,000 with the unemployment rate holding steady at 10%. Employment rose in temporary help and in health care.
“Nonfarm payroll employment edged down in December (-85,000), and the unemployment rate held at 10.0 percent. In 2009, payroll employment declined by 4.2 million, “said Keith Hall who heads the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Over the course of the year, job losses moderated substantially. In the first quarter of 2009, job declines averaged 691,000 per month, compared with 69,000 per month in the last quarter. In December, job losses continued in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, while employment continued to rise in temporary help services and health care.”