December reports lowest hiring numbers since 2011
December Hiring Numbers Come Up Short
The BLS “The Employment Situation – December 2013” jobs report shows evidence of a steady, but not yet consistent, economic recovery. Although 197,000 jobs were expected to add to the economy in December, the numbers came up 120,000 short. Just 74,000 jobs were added to nonfarm payrolls in December, after the US was averaging 204,000 new jobs on a monthly basis (August-November). This reports has been one of the most confusing and disappointing reports in years.
In addition to holidays, December hiring was also impacted by weather. The Polar Vortex is expected to cost the US $5 billion as a result of high bills, cancelled flights, and damage. In addition to freezing temperatures, the US has also been battling a widespread flu outbreak. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, widespread influenza activity has been reported in 40 states. Job seeker’s motivation could certainly have been affected by these two factors, meaning less resumes were flowing into December. Retirement could also have impacted numbers, as many baby boomers are leaving the workforce.
Legal Industry Remains Strong
While most industries took a huge hit in December hiring, legal services stood their ground. The sector reported only 800 less jobs in December than November, with 1,127,000 individuals consistently on legal industry payrolls month over month. The Temporary Help Services sector is also remaining strong, reporting its eleventh successive month of job creation, with 40,400 new jobs generated December 2013. 2.8 million workers were employed within the sector.
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