Payrolls Post First Drop Since April Plunge

by Robert Hughes
The American Institute for Economic Research

U.S. nonfarm payrolls lost 140,000 jobs in December, the first monthly decline since the historic, shutdown-driven plunges in March and April. The drop follows six monthly gains. The latest decline brings the eight-month post-plunge recovery to 12.32 million and is far from offsetting the 22.16 million loss in March and April (see first chart).

Private payrolls dropped by 95,000 jobs in December, which brings the eight-month recovery to 12.70 million versus a loss of 21.19 million in March and April. Total payrolls remain 9.84 million below the February peak while private payrolls remain 8.50 million below the February peak (see first chart).

However, the details of the report are mixed, with many industries posting gains in payrolls in December.

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