The number of U.S. healthcare jobs fell in December for the first time since July 2003, according to seasonally adjusted data released earlier this month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
U.S. healthcare jobs fell by 6,000 in December to approximately 14.66 million.
The overall jobs report was disappointing. Total U.S. nonfarm employment (among all industries) rose by just 74,000 jobs in December to a total of almost 136.9 million. Bloomberg reported the number was lower than forecast and the lowest increase in three years.
Temporary employment services jobs (all types of industries) fared better. Temp jobs rose by 40,400 in December on a seasonally adjusted basis from November — the largest increase in 2013, according to data from the BLS. And the temporary penetration rate — temporary help jobs divided by total nonfarm employment — reached an all-time high of 2.06 percent in December. The previous all-time high was 2.03 percent.
On a year-over-year basis, temporary employer services added 247,400 jobs, a 9.6 percent increase.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent in December from 7.0 percent in November. College-level unemployment edged down to 3.3 percent in December from 3.4 percent in November. College-level unemployment can serve as a proxy for professional employment.