Professional & Business Services Sector Leads September’s Job Growth

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In September, the United States generated 248,000 new jobs, a huge jump from last month’s gain of 142,000. The positive news continued as the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points — dropping from 6.1% to 5.9%, which is the lowest we’ve seen since September 2008. Over the past year, the unemployment rate has declined by 1.3 percentage points and the unemployed persons by 19 million.

In the third quarter, job growth vacillated, improving upon the second quarter’s success. Revised numbers were released, showing that both July and August experienced combined growth of 69,000 more than previously reported. The July payroll number was revised from +212,000 to +243,000 and the August numbers were revised from +142,000 to +180,000.

This month, employment gains were widespread across sectors, and the professional and business services once again saw the largest increase, with an addition of 81,000 jobs. Temporary help services also continued its upward trend, gaining 19,700 jobs this month.

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

Professional and Business Services

This industry reported strong job growth in September, with the addition of 81,000 jobs to the economy, up +34,000 from the previous month. Subsectors such as management and technical consulting services added 11,500 jobs (1.25 million total workforce), architectural and engineering services created 6,000 jobs (1.42 million total workforce) and temporary help services continued its upward trend generating 19,700 jobs (2.93 million total workforce). In total, 19.41 million Americans were employed within this sector last month. 


Employment in this sector showed a growth spike in September by adding 35,300 jobs to the economy, after last month’s loss of 8,400 jobs in August. Total employed in this sector has reached 15.4 million and over the last 12 months employment has grown by 264,000. Within the industry, food and beverage stores grew by 19,500 jobs (3 million total workforce), general merchandise stores added 5,400 jobs (3.14 million total workforce) and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores added 5,300 jobs (592,300 total workforce).


This industry added 22,600 jobs during September, which is comparable to the 12-month average increase of 20,000 jobs. Within this sector, ambulatory services generated 14,200 jobs (6.73 million total workforce), home health services grew 6,800 jobs (1.29 million total workforce) and hospitals grew 6,200 jobs (4.81 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 33,000 jobs. The total number of employed in this sector has reached 14.68 million people. Turning to the subsectors, food services and drinking places employment was particularly strong, with gains of 20,400 (10.7 million total workforce), while accommodations gained 2,900 jobs (1.87 million total workforce).


This sector continued its growth adding 16,000 new jobs (6.07 million total workforce). Within the sector, specialty trade contractors gained 8,800 jobs (3.78 million total workforce) and construction of buildings also saw an increase of 6,200 jobs (1.37 million total workforce).

Temporary Help Services

This job sub-sector is still on the rise, reporting its 20th consecutive month of job creation in September – with an increase in employment of 19,700. This brings the yearly growth up to 232,000. Since September 2013, this sector has had an average of 2.8 million people employed.

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