The economy grew by 2.2 million jobs in 2016

Bryce Covert

Bryce Covert Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

The economy grew by 2.2 million jobs in 2016

The economy added 156,000 jobs in the last month of 2016, while the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.7 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts had expected 175,000 jobs to be added.

Meanwhile, revisions to October and November added another net 19,000 jobs compared to what was previously reported.

Overall, the economy added 2.2 million jobs in 2016.

The bigger news in December was wage growth, however. After falling 2 cents in November, wages climbed up by 10 cents in December, leading to a 2.9 percent year over year rate of growth. That’s the fastest rate of growth paychecks have seen during the recovery.

December’s job growth was driven by health care, which added 43,000 jobs, food service and drinking places with 30,000 jobs, and social assistance with 20,000 jobs. Food service grew by 246,600 jobs over the course of 2016, while health care added 421,700. The retail sector also added large gains, growing by 256,700 jobs over the year, as did professional and business services, which grew by 522,000.

Manufacturing added 17,000 jobs last month, a reversal of recent trends given that the sector has lost jobs each month since July. But over the year, it’s lost 45,000 jobs. Construction fell by 3,000 in December but fared a bit better over the year, adding 102,000 jobs. Mining fell by 78,700 in 2016.

Other trends over the course of 2016 showed promising signs for American workers. There were 237,000 fewer discouraged workers at the end of the year compared to the year before, or those who have given up looking for work because they think they won’t find it. The number of long-term unemployed people, or those unemployed for 27 weeks or more, fell by 263,000 over the year. The number of people working part-time jobs who would rather full-time work also fell by 459,000 over in 2016.


Reposted from ThinkProgress.

Bryce Covert is the Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress. She was previously editor of the Roosevelt Institute’s Next New Deal blog and a senior communications officer. She is also a contributor for The Nation and was previously a contributor for ForbesWoman. Her writing has appeared on The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The Nation, The Atlantic, The American Prospect, and others. She is also a board member of WAM!NYC, the New York Chapter of Women, Action & the Media. Follow her on Twitter @brycecovert

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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