February 20th, 2014

Professional Staffing Jobs Report: February 2014

Jobs Report Reveals Just 113,000 Jobs Added in January

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “The Employment Situation–January 2014” report revealed that just 113,000 new jobs were added to the United States economy – thousands less than expected by economists.

This is the second month in a row that the BLS has reported disappointing numbers, as only 75,000 jobs were added in December. Conversely, the economy generated 204,000 new jobs, on average, every month from August to November 2013.

November and December Revisions

The January report contained revisions to November and December data. An additional 1,000 jobs were created in December 2013, bringing the total to 75,000. In November, 33,000 more jobs were added than originally reported, making the total number of jobs generated during the month 274,000 – the highest total recorded since January 2012. These revisions are proof that, despite a few roadblocks, the U.S. economy is moving forward.

Foggy Forecast for Economy Ahead

As mentioned in our previous report, many blame the Polar Vortex for the recent decline in employment numbers. However, the BLS has stated that, “In order for severe weather conditions to reduce the estimate of payroll employment, employees have to be off work without pay for the entire pay period.” Additional data and reporting are necessary to determine the Polar Vortex’s true impact on the economy.

The unemployment rate dropped marginally in January and currently sits at 6.6 percent. This figure is the lowest it has been since October 2008, when it was 6.5 percent. The jobless rate has declined steadily over the past three months, falling by 0.6 percentage point since October.

Professional and Business Services Remain Strong

Temporary help services employment continues to grow, adding 8,000 jobs in the month of January. However, job growth in this sector averaged 19,000 per month in 2013. Hiring numbers are expected to grow rapidly as employers depend on temporary help as they gauge the strength of the economy.

The Professional and Business Services sector remains strong, adding 36,000 new jobs in January. Within the industry, the professional and technical services field alone added 20,000 new jobs. Additionally, the accounting field added 5,000 jobs, legal added 2,000, architecture and engineering increased by 4,800 jobs, and IT/technical showed a positive gain of 5,300 jobs. In 2013, an average of 55,000 jobs were added each month.

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