Job Market Update: 2015 off to a Healthy Start Adding 257,000 Jobs

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Source: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “The Employment Situation – January 2015″ 

Great news in the labor market! January brought 257,000 new jobs to the U.S. economy – a jump of 5,000 from December and 113,000 from this time last year.

As reported last month, 2014 saw an average job growth of 246,000 per month, and was the most successful year of job growth we’ve seen since 1999. Based on January’s numbers, 2015 is off to a healthy start.

Taking a look at the unemployment rate, we saw a slight increase of .1 percent, bringing it up to 5.7 percent. This may be due to the end of temporary and seasonal jobs over the holiday season.

Revisions to prior months show that both December and November experienced more job growth than previously reported. The November payroll number was revised from +353,000 to +423,000 and the December number from +252,000 to +329,000. That makes a combined 147,000 more jobs than initially reported.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics January 2015 unemployment report, the greatest job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities and manufacturing.

Employment in the retail trade sector had the most significant gain (+46,000). Construction kept its momentum from 2014, adding +39,000 jobs in December, with numerous sub-sectors showing positive gains, including residential and nonresidential building (+13,000 and +7,000) and specialty trade contractors (+13,000).

Health care places rose by +38,000 jobs, with the most growth seen in offices of physicians (+13,000). Financial activities also increased by +26,000 new jobs (+159,000 over the last 12 months). Manufacturing added +22,00 new jobs, including jobs in motor vehicles and parts (+7,000) and wood products (+4,000).


The number of unemployed persons (9.0 million) showed little change in January, along with the long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27+ weeks) at around 2.8 million. However, overall, the civilian labor force rose by a whopping 703,000 and the labor force participation rate rose by 0.2 percentage points up to 62.9 percent, following a decline in December.


The best news for 2015? We’ve seen a wage increase of an impressive 2.2% over the past year. In January in particular, the average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 12 cents up to $24.75. According to economists, there is more good news to come as the year progresses.

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