December 2016 Jobs Report Snapshot

Brandon Andrews
Jan 6, 2017 · 2 min read

On the first #JobsDay of 2017, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that 156,00 jobs were added to the U.S. Economy in December 2016 bringing the unemployment rate to 4.7 percent and the number of unemployed persons to 7.5 million.

This report is last of the Obama Administration and a stark contrast from President Obama’s the first #JobsDay in February 2009.

8 years ago, the U.S. economy lost 598,000 jobs and the national unemployment rate was 7.6 percent. The unemployment rate for African American, Asian, and LatinX communities were 12.6 percent, 6.2 percent, and 9.7 percent respectively. The jobless rate for teenagers was 20.8 percent.

Today’s report showed teenagers at 14.7 percent , African Americans at 7.8 percent, Asians at 2.6 percent, and LatinX at 5.9 percent.

Similarities between President Obama’s first and last #JobsDay reports include healthcare and persistent unemployment in communities of color; specifically the African American community.

Healthcare added 19,000 jobs in January 2009 and 43,000 jobs in December 2016.

As President-elect Trump prepares to take office, he inherits a U.S. economy that is significantly different than the economy inherited by President Obama. In December 2016, the U.S. Fed raised interest rates for only the second time in the past decade; a nod to the strength of the U.S. economy in 2016.

U.S. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will look at the impact of President-elect Trump’s promised — infrastructure driven — fiscal policy + future #JobsDay reports when deciding to raise rates further in 2017.

Communities with persistent unemployment should look start businesses in healthcare and infrastructure, here’s why:

  • 2017 should bring an increase in infrastructure spending (Trump stimulus) + a continuation of the multi-year increase in healthcare jobs.
  • President-elect trump has promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Whether or not he is successful, the changes will mean a need for more healthcare workers to figure out the new system.
  • The U.S. Fed raised rates in December 2016, but rates are still relatively low and access to capital is now at pre-recession levels.
  • President-elect Trump has signaled a desire to lower barriers to entry (regulation) for entrepreneurs in Federal contracting, making it easier to start a small business and pursue government contracts.
  • There is a consistent effort to lower the barrier to entry for workers looking to acquire new job skills; especially in healthcare and tech.