20-year chart of unemployment numbers for the Professional / Managerial class.

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Joe Pelayo, C.P.C.
Managing Partner
Joseph Michaels International Recruiters


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Private employers added 164,000 jobs and Job gains rose for the fourth straight month, led by a healthy bump in leisure and hospitality hiring. Construction held strong in the face of high interest rates, but manufacturing continued to struggle, notching another month of losses.

Change by U.S. Regions

Northeast: 94,000

New England 28,000

Middle Atlantic 66,000

Midwest: -21,000

East North Central <-16,000>

West North Central <-5,000>

South: -7,000

South Atlantic <-3,000>

East South Central <-6,000>

West South Central 2,000

West: 109,000

Mountain 29,000

Pacific 80,000

Change by Establishment Size

Small establishments: 74,000

1-19 employees 54,000

20-49 employees 20,000

Medium establishments: 53,000

50-249 employees 58,000

250-499 employees <-5,000>

Large establishments: 40,000

500+ employees 40,000


Pay growth slowed in December.  Pay for job-stayers rose 5.4% in December, slowing from 5.6% a month earlier and continuing a deceleration that began in September 2022.

Median Change in Annual Pay (ADP matched person sample)

Job-Stayers 5.4%

Job-Changers 8.0%

Median Change in Annual Pay for Job-Stayers by Firm Size

Small firms:

1-19 employees 4.6%

20-49 employees 5.6%

Medium firms:

50-249 employees 5.7%

250-499 employees 5.5%

Large firms:

500+ employees 5.4%

Job Openings and Labor Turnover 

The number of job openings changed little at 8,800,000 on the last business day of November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, the number of hires and total separations decreased to 5,500.000 and 5,300,000, respectively. Within separations, quits (3,500,000) edged down and layoffs and discharges (1,500,000) changed little. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, and by establishment size class.

The number of layoffs and discharges changed little at 1,500,000, and the rate was unchanged at 1.0%. The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in durable goods manufacturing (-18,000).

Unemployment rate U-6 Update

In December 2023, the regular unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7% and the broader U-6 measure edged up to 7.1%.

The above 7.1% is referred to as the U-6 unemployment rate (found in the monthly BLS Employment Situation Summary, Table A-15; Table A-12 in 2008 and before).  It counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the more familiar unemployment U-3 rate), but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.”  Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week.  And the “marginally attached workers” include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work.  

Here is a look at the December Unemployment, Professional and Managerial class unemployment, U-6 numbers for the previous 21 years:

December                    2022                6.5%

December                    2021                7.3%

December                    2020                11.7%

December                    2019                6.8%

December                    2018                7.6%

December                    2017                8.1%

December                    2016                9.1%

December                    2015                9.9%

December                    2014                11.2%

December                    2013                13.1%

December                   2012                14.4%

December                    2011                15.2%

December                    2010                16.6%

December                    2009                17.2%

December                   2008                13.7%

December                    2007                8.7%

December                    2006                7.9%

December                    2005                8.6%

December                    2004                9.3%

December                    2003                9.9%

December                    2002                9.9%

The overall unemployment rate for December 2023 of 3.7% 

This month, our Employment Participation Rate— fell to 62.5%.  This rate is .1% higher than the historically low rate of 62.4% recorded in September 2015—and, before that, the rate recorded in October 1977.


(GDP) increased at an annual rate of 4.9% in the third quarter of 2023, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.1%.

Updates to GDP

With the third estimate, downward revisions to consumer spending, private inventory investment, and exports were partly offset by upward revisions to state and local government spending, nonresidential fixed investment, residential fixed investment, and federal government spending. Imports were revised down.

Real GDP by Industry

Today’s release includes estimates of GDP by industry, or value added—a measure of an industry’s contribution to GDP. Private goods-producing industries increased 10.2%, private services-producing industries increased 4.1%, and government increased 2.0%. Overall, 14 of 22 industry groups contributed to the third-quarter increase in real GDP.

·         Within private goods-producing industries, the leading contributors to the increase were nondurable goods manufacturing (led by chemical products) and construction.

·         Within private services-producing industries, the leading contributors to the increase were retail trade, information, as well as finance and insurance. Partly offsetting these increases was a decrease in utilities.

·         The increase in government reflected an increase in state and local government that was partly offset by a decrease in federal government.

Gross Output by Industry

Real gross output—principally a measure of an industry’s sales or receipts, which includes sales to final users in the economy (GDP) and sales to other industries (intermediate inputs)—increased 3.5% in the third quarter. This reflected an increase of 4.0% for private goods-producing industries, an increase of 3.3% for private services-producing industries, and an increase of 3.3% for government. Overall, 16 of 22 industry groups contributed to the increase in real gross output.

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Joe Pelayo, C.P.C.
Managing Partner
Joseph Michaels International Recruiters


Email: jpelayo@josephmichaels.com

For more informational visit our website: https://josephmichaels.com

View 2,000+JOBS at Joseph Michaels International Recruiters 

Connecting Great Talent and Growing Companies in the USA and around the world since 1990.