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October 2014

Posted On11/14/2014

ContributorTracy Fischer

by Donna Farrugia, CEO Nelson

Nelson Jobs Report


With job-opening growth accelerating and college graduate unemployment coming down, things are looking pretty strong in October. Employment was up 214,000 jobs overall, 1.9% year over year. The private economy is bullish and unemployment has edged down to 5.8%.

For those 25 years and older with a bachelor’s degree or more education, the unemployment rate was 3.1%, down from 3.8% in October 2013. For those with some college or an associate degree, the unemployment rate was 4.8%, down from 6.3% the previous year.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up over the month, currently up 3.5%. Over the prior 12 months, job gains averaged 56,000 per month. To break it down:

  • Food services and drinking places added 42,000 jobs in October.
  • Retail trade added 27,000 jobs.
  • Manufacturing employment was up 15,000 jobs. Within this category, semiconductors and electronic components increased by 2,000 jobs. Over the year, manufacturing has added 170,000 jobs, largely in durable goods.
  • Transportation and warehousing added 13,000 jobs.
  • Construction added 12,000 jobs.
  • Computer systems design and related services added 7,000 jobs.

In October, the average workweek for all employees was 34.6 hours. In manufacturing, it was 40.8 hours, with factory overtime edging down to 3.4 hours. In production/nonsupervisory positions, the average workweek was 33.8 hours.

Average hourly earnings for all employees increased slightly to $24.57 in October. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2%.

An interesting story continues to be temporary employment, which is up 15,000 jobs in October (9% year over year). Expectations are that it could go even higher as companies keep seeing the value in balancing their workforce depending on need.