Total employment rose by 295,000 in February, compared with an average monthly gain of 266,000 over the prior 12 months. Here at Nelson, direct hire and temporary-to-hire placements were 34% higher in February than January (with 76% year-over-year growth). Temporary staffing at Nelson grew by 18% in February.
Nationally, job gains of note occurred in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, retail, construction, health care, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing.
- Food services and drinking places added 59,000 jobs.
- Professional and business services increased by 51,000 jobs and has risen by 660,000 over the year. Within this category, employment continued to trend up in management and technical consulting services, computer systems design and related services, and architectural and engineering services.
- Employment in retail trade increased 32,000 jobs.
- Construction added 29,000 jobs, with employment in specialty trade contracting increasing the most, especially the residential component.
- Employment in health care rose by 24,000 jobs.
- Transportation and warehousing added 19,000 jobs, with most of the gain occurring in couriers and messengers.
- Manufacturing employment increased by 8,000 jobs.
At Nelson, a division seeing good growth is Nelson Engineering, which grew by 10% in February compared to January, and 25% year over year.
In February, the average workweek was 34.6 hours. The manufacturing workweek was
41.0 hours, and factory overtime edged down to 3.4 hours. Average hourly earnings rose by 3 cents to $24.78. (Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2%.)
In the last quarter, GDP growth was 2.2%. We’re beginning to see some “employee churn” again, a good sign of confidence in employment and the economy. Often, employees believe they need to move to another job to better their careers in terms of responsibility and compensation. Be proactive in working with employees to further their careers to keep your most valued talent.