If you’re getting ready to transition from the military to
the civilian work force, this morning’s unemployment report for December 2011 offers
some hints at where the jobs are.
The unemployment rate dropped to 8.5 percent in December, the
Labor Department reported, down from 8.6 percent in November. The private sector
added 212,000 jobs in December, and over the last 12 months 1.6 million
non-farm jobs were added to the economy.
Here are some tidbits from the December report that might be
· Employment in transportation and
warehousing rose sharply in December (+50,000). Almost all of the gain occurred
in the couriers and messengers industry (+42,000).
· In December, manufacturing employment
expanded by 23,000, following four months of little change. Employment
increased in December in transportation equipment (+9,000), fabricated metals
(+6,000), and machinery (+5,000).
· Retail trade added 28,000 jobs in
December. Employment in the industry has increased by 240,000 over the past 12
· Mining employment rose by 7,000 over
the month. Over the year, mining added 89,000 jobs.
· Health care continued to add jobs in
December (+23,000); employment in hospitals increased by 10,000. Over the year,
health care employment has risen by 315,000.
· Construction employment changed
little in December. Within the industry, nonresidential specialty trade
contractors added 20,000 jobs over the month, mostly offsetting losses over the
prior two months.
· Employment in professional and
business services changed little in December for the second month in a row. The
industry added 42,000 jobs per month, on average, during the first 10 months of
· Government employment changed little
in December, but was down by 280,000 over the year. Job losses in 2011 occurred
in local government, state government (excluding education) and the U.S. Postal