Health care employment continued to expand in December (+45,000). Job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+23,000), in hospitals (+12,000), and in nursing and residential care facilities (+10,000). In 2012, health care employment rose by 338,000.
In December, employment in food services and drinking places rose by 38,000. In 2012, the industry added an average of 24,000 jobs a month, essentially the same as in 2011.
Construction added 30,000 jobs in December, led by employment increases in construction of buildings (+13,000) and in residential specialty trade contractors (+12,000).
In December, manufacturing employment rose by 25,000, with small gains in a number of component industries. In 2012, factory employment increased by 180,000; most of the growth occurred during the first quarter.
Employment in retail trade changed little in December, after increasing by 143,000 over the prior 3 months. Within the industry, employment in clothing and accessories stores fell by 19,000, following gains that totaled 55,000 over the prior 3 months. Elsewhere in retail trade, employment in automobile dealers and in food and beverage stores continued to trend up in December.
Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, professional and businesses services, and government, showed little change over the month.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised from +138,000 to +137,000, and the change for November was revised from +146,000 to +161,000.