The number of unemployed persons was essentially flat, at 8.6 million. The unemployment rate for adult women rose in December to 5.3 percent. The jobless rates for other major worker groups -adult men (5.6 percent), teenagers (16.1 percent), whites (5.1 percent), blacks (11.5 percent), and Hispanics (7.9 percent) - were little changed over the month.
The number of Americans unemployed 15 weeks or more rose to 3.2 million in December, an increase of 815,000 over the year. The number unemployed less than 5 weeks was essentially unchanged over the month, at 2.8 million, but has decreased by 241,000 over the year.
Over the year, payroll employment declined by 181,000, compared with a loss of 1.4 million in 2001. In December, job losses in manufacturing, retail trade, and transportation were partly offset by job gains in services.
The downward trend in manufacturing continued in December, as factories lost 65,000 jobs. Over the year, factory employment declined by 592,000,compared with a drop of 1.3 million in the prior year. Employment in manufacturing has declined by 2.4 million since April 1998, its most recent peak.
The retail sector cut 104,000 jobs in December. Many retailers hired fewer workers than usual for the month, according to the BLS.
loyment declined by 101,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.0 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The BLS also revised its report for job losses in November from 40,000 to 88,000.