Employment Trends January

employment-trends-january_blog_staff-management-SMXAccording to the Staffing Industry Report webinar, hosted by the Staffing Industry Analysts, U.S. employment increased by 74,000 jobs last month. This is a small increase compared to an averaged monthly job gain of 182,000 in 2013, so it is likely that this data has some inaccuracies and will be revised upwards next month. The number of unemployed persons declined and the unemployment rate decreased to 6.7% in December. On a year-over-year basis, US payroll employment was up 1.6% in December.

Temporary employment is reported to have gained 40,400 jobs in December. Temporary unemployment yielded 16,400 temporary jobs in November, so even though temporary employment was expected to prosper into 2014, it’s likely that a number as high as 40,400 will be revised downward in January. Without a revision, an addition of 40,400 temporary help jobs would mark the greatest increase in temporary help employment in nearly two years. In our previous post we mentioned that the temporary penetration rate was nearing 2.03%, a high last recorded in April of 2000. In December 2013, the temporary penetration rate actually exceeded this figure at 2.06%. It was a good year for the staffing industry as temporary help employment increased 9.6% year-over-year in December and monthly jobs gains in the temporary help sector averaged 20,600. In fact, Career Builder reports that 42% of employers say that they plan to hire temporary and contract workers, a 2% increase from last year. This marks a 14% increase since 2009.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries that were most influential in driving employment growth included retail trade, temporary help and wholesale trade. Professional and business services, manufacturing and mining edged up in employment for the month of December as well. Employment in information and construction decreased while employment in other major industries, including transportation and warehousing, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government experienced little change.