January 10, 2014

Unemployment rate drops to 6.7% in December

Jan. 13, 2014 – December's unemployment rate decreased to 6.7 percent from November's rate of 7 percent as 347,000 workers left the workforce, NAFCU Research Assistant Doug Christman noted in a Macro Data Flash report Friday.

Christman said the winter weather was a factor in December's disappointing jobs numbers.

"Severe winter weather contributed to lower payroll gains, which resulted in significant losses to the construction sector during the month," Christman said. December's labor force participation rate fell to 62.8 percent after a rise in the previous month.

Non-farm payrolls in December rose by 74,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. November's numbers were revised upward by 38,000 to 241,000 while October's numbers had no revision.

Christman noted that the payroll numbers may see revisions in coming months as the Labor Department applies changes to the seasonal adjustment factors.

"The Federal Reserve will continue to watch the employment situation as they assess how much to taper their asset purchase program throughout the year," Christman said.