This morning’s unemployment situation summary from the Department of Labor brings a bit of good news. The December 2010 unemployment rate has dropped to 9.4 percent from the 9.8 percent we faced in November 2010. An addition of 103,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were added during the month for a total of 1.1 million new jobs since December 2009.

Another bit of good news is the fact that there are now 556,000 fewer unemployed Americans in the nation. For months the unemployed Americans figure hovered right around 15 million but in December 2010 this dropped down to 14.5 million. Unfortunately the long-term unemployed figures stayed pretty flat at 6.4 million. Additionally, 2.6 million individuals are still marginally attached to the workforce with 1.3 million considered discouraged, up by 389,000 when compared to the December 2009 discouraged workers figure.

The following industries experienced job gains during the month:

  • Leisure and hospitality – 47,000 new jobs
  • Health care – 36,000 new jobs
  • Temporary help services – 16,000 new jobs
  • Retail trade – 12,000 new jobs
  • Mining employment – 5,000 new jobs
The following industries saw more job losses during the month:
  • Health and personal care stores – 8,000 jobs lost
  • Heavy and civil engineering in construction – 13,000 jobs lost
  • Residential building – 6,000 jobs lost
Although we still have a long ways to go with the jobless situation, the drop in unemployment to 9.4 percent is definitely good news. Perhaps we’ll be able to best the 9.0 percent plus unemployment rate predicted for 2011 by the National Association for Business Economics.

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