January 2014 BLS Report Shows 113,000 New Jobs Added, Unemployment Rate of 6.6%

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the January 2014 unemployment report with an overall gain of 113,000 jobs and a relatively unchanged unemployment rate of 6.6%.

With this data being the first indication as to how 2014 kicked off, many experts were looking towards the report for some sign as to how the economy was performing—the fourth quarter of 2013 showed robust growth, but eventually ended weaker than expected. In light of this, many were curious to see if employment numbers would spike back up, or continue the pattern seen at the end of last year.

Unfortunately, the report was not as strong as many hoped for, with a lukewarm gain of 142,000 new private sector jobs. Revisions for November and December showed an additional 34,000 jobs added to the economy, producing a slight silver lining.

Experts believe that a major factor contributing to the numbers in January was inclement weather as many major American cities were pummeled by snow and winter storms. This factor is something that is expected to play heavily into the February 2014 numbers as well.

A number of sectors showed growth including manufacturing (+21,000), construction (+48,000), leisure and hospitality (+24,000). The professional and business services sector also added positions (+36,000) with numerous sub-sectors including legal (+2,000), accounting (+5,000), architecture and engineering (+4,800), IT consulting and design (+5,300) and temporary services (+8,100) adding jobs as well.

So, what does this report mean? While higher numbers are always wanted, it is showing overall growth in the economy. Many experts are also predicting that come spring, employment figures will be back in the 175,000-200,000 jobs added range.

At Adecco, many of our clients closed out 2013 strong and are optimistic about 2014 with hiring and staff augmentation plans in place.

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