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January 05, 2007
Employers Add to Payrolls

Payroll employment increased by 167,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.5 percent, according ao a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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The gain in pay roll employment follows increases of 86,000 in October and 154,000 in November. Over the year, payroll employment rose by 1.8 million.

In December, employment growth continued in several service-providing industries. The number of manufacturing jobs continued to trend downward.

Professional and business services employment continued to expand in December with a gain of 50,000. Health care added 31,000 jobs in December. Over the year, health care employment increased by 324,000. Over the year, manufacturing employment fell by 72,000 with declines widespread throughout the component industries.

The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory workers on remained at 33.9 hours in December. Weekly hours for factory workers were unchanged at 41.0 hours while overtime increased by 0.1 hour to 4.3 hours.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers increased by 8 cents, or 0.5 percent, in December to $17.04. Over the year, hourly earnings were up 4.2 percent, while weekly earnings were up 4.5 percent.

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