by Donna Farrugia, CEO Nelson
In December, total employment rose by 252,000 jobs and temporary employment increased by 15,000 jobs. Year over year, temporary employment is up 8%. In Q3, GDP growth was 5%, which was the strongest growth seen in more than a decade. When looking at 2014 as a whole, job growth averaged 246,000 jobs per month, compared with an average of 194,000 jobs per month in 2013.
In an industry-by-industry comparison, there were job gains in professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, and manufacturing.
Employment in professional and business services rose by 52,000 jobs in December. Within that category, administrative and waste services increased by 35,000 jobs, computer systems design and related services increased by 9,000 jobs, and architectural and engineering services increased by 5,000 jobs. While employment in accounting and bookkeeping services declined in December, employment in wholesale trade and financial activities continued to trend up.
Construction was the number one job generator in December, coming back in a strong way. In December, this industry added 48,000 jobs, including specialty trade contractors, heavy and civil engineering construction, and nonresidential building.
Employment in food services and drinking places increased by 44,000 jobs in December. When looking at 2014 as a whole, the industry added an average of 30,000 jobs per month.
Manufacturing employment in December increased by 17,000 jobs, with durable goods accounting for most of the gain. In all of 2014, manufacturing added an average of 16,000 jobs per month, compared with an average gain of 7,000 jobs per month in 2013.
The unemployment rate declined to 5.6% in December. The average workweek for employees remained at 34.6 hours. Factory overtime edged up to 3.6 hours. Average hourly earnings decreased by 5 cents to $24.57, but over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.7%.
All in all, the news is good on a national and local level. There are jobs to be had and organizations searching diligently for skilled talent. Companies like Nelson are being called upon to bring innovative recruiting and hiring practices into play to fill positions and to partner with clients in creating workforce strategies for the future. Watch for more information on this to follow.