Employment increased by 312,000 in December, and the unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported. Job gains occurred in health care, food services and drinking places, construction, manufacturing and retail trade.
Manufacturing added 32,000 jobs in December. Most of the gain occurred in the durable goods component (+19,000), with job growth in fabricated metal products (+7,000) and in computer and electronic products (+4,000). Employment in the nondurable goods component also increased over the month (+13,000). Manufacturing employment increased by 284,000 over the year, with about three-fourths of the gain in durable goods industries. Manufacturing had added 207,000 jobs in 2017.