November’s Holiday Hiring Trends: Retail & Temporary Help Services On the Rise

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “The Employment Situation – November 2014″ 

In November, the United States generated 321,000 new jobs, the largest employment increase of the year. Although it was a huge jump in growth, the unemployment rate remained the same — stagnating at 5.8 percent, which is still the lowest we’ve seen since September, 2008. Over the past year, the unemployment rate has declined by 1.2 percentage points and the unemployed persons by 1.7 million.

As we round out the year, job growth is remaining steady, improving upon the third quarter’s success. Revised numbers were released, showing that both September and October experienced combined growth of 44,000 more than previously reported. The September payroll number was revised from +256,000 to +271,000 and the October numbers were revised from +214,000 to +243,000. 

This month, job growth was widespread, led by the professional and business services. This group saw an increase of 86,000 jobs, while temporary help services continued its upward trend, gaining 23,000 jobs.

Employment gains were widespread across sectors with the highest gains led by professional and business services, retail trade, heath care and manufacturing. Here are some key sector highlights from the BLS “The Employment Situation – November 2014” report:

Professional and Business Services

This industry reported strong job growth in November, with the addition of 86,000 jobs to the economy, up +34,000 from the previous month. Subsectors such as accounting and bookkeeping added 16,000 jobs (990,000 total workforce), management and technical consulting services created 7,000 jobs (1.26 million total workforce), and temporary help services generated 23,000 jobs (2.97 million total workforce). In total, 19.52 million Americans were employed within this sector last month.


Employment in this sector showed a growth spike by adding 50,200 jobs to the economy, after last month’s increase of 34,200 jobs in October. Total employed in this sector has reached 15.49 million and over the last 12 months employment has grown by 290,000. Within the industry, clothing and clothing accessories stores grew by 11,300 jobs (1.39 million total workforce), motor vehicle and parts dealers added 10,500 jobs (1.88 million total workforce) and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores added 8,600 jobs (607,800 total workforce).


This industry added 28,900 jobs during November, and has added a total of 261,000 positions over the past 12 months. Within this sector, ambulatory services generated 24,300 jobs (6.77 million total workforce), offices of physicians grew by 6,600 jobs (2.52 million total workforce) and home health care services grew 5,000 jobs (1.31 million total workforce). This growth indicates that the healthcare industry is at an all-time high in terms of job availability. 

Leisure and Hospitality

This industry also saw an influx of job growth – generating 32,000 jobs. The total number of employed in this sector has reached 14.79 million people. Turning to the sub-sectors, food services and drinking places employment was particularly strong, with gains of 26,500 (10.79 million total workforce), while accommodations gained amusements, gambling and recreation created 6,900 jobs (1.53 million total workforce).


This sector continued its growth adding 28,00 new jobs (12.2 million total workforce). Within the sector, plastics and rubber products gained 7,100 jobs (675,800 million total workforce) and food manufacturing also saw an increase of 3,600 jobs (1.47 million total workforce).

Temporary Help Services

This job sub-sector is still on the rise, reporting its 22nd consecutive month of job creation in November – with an increase in employment of 22,700. This brings the yearly growth up to 255,000. Since November 2013, this sector has had an average of 2.9 million people employed.

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