I’ll have to do the usual econ catch-up later because of some computer snafus.
Here are a few predictions:
The report will be here at 8:30 a.m.
HERE IT IS (full release with tables is here):
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 155,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care, food services and drinking places, construction, and manufacturing.
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons, at 12.2 million, was little changed in December. The unemployment rate held at 7.8 percent and has been at or near that level since September.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (7.3 percent) and blacks (14.0 percent) edged up in December, while the rates for adult men (7.2 percent), teenagers (23.5 percent), whites (6.9 percent), and Hispanics (9.6 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
… Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in December. In 2012, employment growth averaged 153,000 per month, the same as the average monthly gain for 2011. In December, employment increased in health care, food services and drinking places, construction, and manufacturing.
… The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised from +138,000 to +137,000, and the change for November was revised from +146,000 to +161,000.
My immediate reax is that this is the “new normal” with which we’re supposed to be satisfied (“underlying strength”? Are you kidding me, AP?). I’m not.
More to come later.
UPDATE: Reuters (“Job growth cools slightly, recovery grinds on”) — “The pace of hiring by U.S. employers eased slightly in December, pointing to a lackluster pace of economic growth that was unable to make further inroads in the country’s still high unemployment rate.”
UPDATE 2: After its usual annual tweaking of the Household Survey, BLS now reports that the unemployment rate rose in October from 7.8% to 7.9%, and was 7.8% instead of 7.7% in November.
UPDATE 3: The Household Survey tells us that the seasonally adjusted number of Americans employed in December was 23,000 lower than it was in October.
UPDATE 4: Drudge crystallizes (HT Althouse via Instapundit) —