The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported on the employment situation throughout the nation in December 2019, which holds the unemployment rate at 3.5 percent.
That 3.5 percent figure represents 5.8 million unemployed people.
In 2018, the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, or 6.3 million people.
According to the BLS summary, the unemployment rates for adult men was 3.1 percent, adult women, 3.2 percent; teenagers, 12.6 percent; Whites, 3.2 percent; Blacks, 5.9 percent; Asians 2.5 percent; and Hispanics, 4.2 percent, showed little or no change in December.
The number of long-term unemployed for 27 weeks or more, at 1.2 million, was unchanged in December and accounted for 20.5 percent of the unemployed.
The number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons, at 4.1 million, changed little in December but was down by 507,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs, officials said.
In December, retail trade added 41,000 jobs.
Employment increased in clothing and accessories stores, up 33,000 jobs, and in building material and garden supply stores, up 7,000 jobs. Both industries showed employment declines in the prior month.
Employment in retail trade showed little net gain, in both 2019 and 2018 — up 9,000 and 14,000, respectively.
Employment in health care increased by 28,000 in December. Ambulatory health care services and hospitals added jobs over the month — up 23,000 and up 9,000, respectively.
Health care added 399,000 jobs in 2019, compared with an increase of 350,000 in 2018.
Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in December, up 40,000 jobs. The industry added 388,000 jobs in 2019, similar to the increase in 2018, which was up 359,000 jobs.
Mining employment declined by 8,000 in December. In 2019, employment in mining declined by 24,000, after rising by 63,000 in 2018.
Construction employment changed little in December, up 20,000 jobs. Employment in the industry rose by 151,000 in 2019, about half of the 2018 gain of 307,000.
In December, employment in professional and business services showed little change, up 10,000 jobs. The industry added 397,000 jobs in 2019, down from an increase of 561,000 jobs in 2018.