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3 Talking Points from the December 2013 Jobs Report

Three takeaways from the August 2013 jobs report.Remember when Jennifer Lawrence fell on her way up the stairs to receive her Oscar Award for Best Actress in front of millions of viewers? That was sort of an epic fail — but in a cute way, because who doesn’t love J-Law (and also, who hasn’t daydreamed about cake)? Unfortunately, we saw another epic fail with the release of today’s jobs report, except there was nothing cute about it.

Economists were expecting the U.S. economy to add 197,000 jobs in December — but they were off by a hefty 123,000. So whether you’re at brunch or a dinner party this weekend, don’t expect too many glasses to be clinking in a toast to this report.

As you may know, following each month’s jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the Web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.


  1. How low can it go? Sorry we asked. The U.S. economy added 74,000 jobs in December. This was not just lower than expected; it was the smallest job gain in in three years. Considering the momentum the economy picked up over the past few months, this was sort of a fail. Even the Wall Street Journal called it an “ugly” jobs report. Ouch!
  2. The unemployment rate is like sunshine on a frigid day — it looks deceptively good. OK, so the unemployment rate dropped from 7 percent to 6.7 percent, the lowest since October 2008. But in case you saw that and got a bit excited, don’t be. It appears to be mostly a result of more people dropping out of the labor force.
  3. Some winners, many losers. The big winners of this jobs report? Drumroll, please… retailers and manufacturers, with both posting noteworthy hiring increases. Unfortunately, not too many other industries had the same kind of luck in December.

Don’t miss the jobs report buzz! Follow us on Twitter @CBforEmployers and live tweet with us starting at 8:30 a.m. EST on the first Friday of every month as part of #JobsFriday.

Did you miss the August, SeptemberOctober and November jobs report breakdown? It’s never too late to catch up on some economy-related reading.

Deanna Hartley

About Deanna Hartley

Deanna Hartley is a senior copywriter and community manager on the creative services team at CareerBuilder, where she writes about issues that are top of mind for employers and recruiters – including talent acquisition, employee engagement and retention. An avid social media user, Deanna is the face behind @CBforEmployers on Twitter as well as CBforEmployers’ Facebook and Instagram pages, so it’s easy to stay connected with her. Prior to joining CareerBuilder, Deanna was a senior editor for the Human Capital Media Group, publishers of Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer, Diversity Executive and Workforce Management magazines. Deanna holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She loves caffeine, social media, pop culture and dogs – though not necessarily in that order.


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