In December 2023, the US labor market showed continued growth, with a significant increase of 216,000 nonfarm jobs compared to November, reflecting stronger growth than the previous month's 173,000. Despite this positive trend, the country experienced a loss of 33,000 temporary jobs in December, with revised data revealing that the number of temporary jobs in November was 50,800 lower than initially reported.

The US temp penetration rate slightly decreased to 1.80% in December from 1.82% in November. SIA President Barry Asin noted that while the overall labor market remains robust with a near-record-low unemployment rate and high labor demand surpassing supply, the percentage of temporary employment relative to total employment is at its lowest level since the onset of the pandemic.

Employment in temporary help services peaked in March 2022 and has since declined by 346,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The nonfarm payrolls in the US surpassed 157.2 million jobs in December 2023, with over 2.8 million of those being temporary jobs.

Moreover, the unemployment rate in December remained unchanged at 3.7% from November, with the college-level unemployment rate also holding steady at 2.1%. Job gains were observed in sectors such as government, healthcare, social assistance, and construction. Specifically, the government added 52,000 jobs, healthcare gained 38,000, social assistance roles increased by 21,000, and construction employment climbed by 17,000. However, the transportation and warehousing sector experienced a decline of 23,000 jobs in December, contributing to a net decrease of 100,000 jobs since its peak in October 2022.

On the earnings front, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 15 cents in December to $34.27, while for production and nonsupervisory employees, average hourly earnings increased by 10 cents to $29.42.  

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