Meanwhile, after a positive month for hiring in November, when 5.935MM people were hired, in December the pace of hiring crashed, plunging to just 5.539MM, a drop of 396K for the month after a 23K increase in November. The coincides and validates the 227K drop in payrolls on December, the first contraction since April.
Hires decreased in accommodation and food services (-221,000); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-133,000); and arts, entertainment, and recreation (-82,000). Hires increased in retail trade (+94,000). The number of hires in December (not seasonally adjusted) edged down over the year (-237,000). Hires decreased in accommodation and food services; arts, entertainment, and recreation; and educational services. Hires increased in a number of industries with the largest increases in wholesale trade, nondurable goods manufacturing, and durable goods manufacturing. The number of hires decreased in the West region.
While hires plunged, the number of total total separations was little changed at 5.5 million, and the total separations rate was little changed at 3.8 percent. The total separations level decreased in federal government (-86,000). Total separations increased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+68,000). Also notable, 1,812,000 people were fired or laid off in Dec. vs 1,893,000 in Dec. last year, while an additional 362,000 people left their employer due to retirements, transfers to other locations, death, and separations due to disability.