Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.7% as People Stop Looking for Work

Total nonfarm payroll employment bumped up a slight 74,000 last month, missing analyst estimates of a 200,000 gain.

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:34AM

The Department of Labor released its December employment situation report (link opens in PDF) today, and its messages were mixed. After increasing a revised 241,000 for November, total nonfarm payroll employment bumped up a slight 74,000 last month, missing analyst estimates of a 200,000 gain. 

Retail trade (+55,000), professional services (+19,000), and wholesale trade (+15,000) provided the main push behind the latest report, while information services knocked off 12,000 jobs and construction shrank 16,000.

While the unemployment rate dropped from 7% to 6.7% -- its lowest level since October 2008 -- the decline was primarily due to a drop in the labor force. Once people without jobs stop looking for one, the government no longer counts them as unemployed. Year over year, the civilian labor force participation rate -- including those working or looking for work -- is down 0.8 percentage points to 62.8%, matching a nearly 36-year low.


Source: Labor Department. 

For those who remained in the working labor force, average hourly earnings edged up 0.1% to $24.17, missing expectations of a 0.2% rise.

December's disappointing note ensured that 2013's monthly job growth averaged 182,000, essentially the same as 2012's employment expansion.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


You can follow Justin Loiseau on Twitter, @TMFJLo, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFJLoTry any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

Something big just happened

I don't know about you, but I always pay attention when one of the best growth investors in the world gives me a stock tip. Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner (whose growth-stock newsletter was rated #1 in the world by The Wall Street Journal)* and his brother, Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner, just revealed two brand new stock recommendations moments ago. Together, they've tripled the stock market's return over 12+ years. And while timing isn't everything, the history of Tom and David's stock picks shows that it pays to get in early on their ideas.

Click here to be among the first people to hear about David and Tom's newest stock recommendations.

*"Look Who's on Top Now" appeared in The Wall Street Journal which references Hulbert's rankings of the best performing stock picking newsletters over a 5-year period from 2008-2013.

Compare Brokers