The year finished strong in terms of job growth, as December brought 252,000 new jobs to the U.S. economy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its December 2014 unemployment report, and the greatest job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, healthcare and manufacturing. In 2014, job growth averaged 246,000 per month, which is a remarkable improvement over the average monthly gain of 194,000 jobs in 2013. Since December of last year, a total of 2.95 million jobs have been added to the U.S. economy.
In other good news, the unemployment rate declined to 5.6 percent, after remaining at 5.8 percent in the previous two months. This is the lowest rate we’ve seen since September, 2008.
Revisions to prior months show that both November and October experienced more growth than previously reported. The November payroll number was revised from +321,000 to +353,000 and the October number from +243,000 to +261,000. That makes a combined 50,000 more jobs than initially reported.
2014 finishes strong with 252K #jobs in December! Read the full summary here: http://adec.co/bls012015tw | #jobsfriday #BLS
A Closer Look at the Industries
December’s leading industries include professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, healthcare and manufacturing. Employment in the professional and business services sector had the most significant gain (+52,000, and a grand total of 732,000 year over year), with numerous sub-sectors showing positive gains, including temporary help services (+14,700), administrative and waste services (+35,000), and computer systems design and related services (+9,000).
Surprisingly, construction added 48,000 jobs in December, more than double the gain of 20,000 jobs in November. We saw the most growth within specialty trade contractors (25,500), and heavy and civil engineering construction (+11,600). Food services and drinking places rose by 43,600 jobs, significantly higher than the 30,000 average monthly gain in 2014. Healthcare and manufacturing added 34,100 and 17,000 new jobs, respectively. After a massive surge in November, the retail trade industry changed little in December.
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons (8.7 million) declined by 383,000 in December. Over the year, the unemployment rate and number of unemployed persons have declined by 1.1 percentage point and 1.7 million, respectively.