The U.S. Department of Labor reports the unemployment rate declined from 7% to 6.7% in December, while total non-farm payrolls of 74,000 were added. Investors expected much stronger payroll growth of around 200,000.
The report notes the civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 62.8% in December, offsetting a change of the same magnitude in November. In December, the employment-population ratio was unchanged at 58.6%. The labor force participation rate declined by 0.8 percentage point over the year, while the employment-population ratio was unchanged. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million in December.
In 2013, job growth averaged 182,000 per month, about the same as in 2012 (+183,000 per month). In December, job gains occurred in retail trade and wholesale trade, while employment declined in information.