D on’t let the 0.1 percent rise in the unemployment rate fool you – January 2015 was still a positive month for job growth.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the addition of 257,000 nonfarm payroll jobs last month. These job gains mostly occurred in places like retail trade, health care, financial activities, and construction. The national unemployment rate now sits at 5.7 percent. Some speculate this rise is due to the end of holiday employment opportunities, while others believe it’s because over one million people entered (and re-entered) the workforce now that unemployment rates remain low and job gains grow.
Drop in Temporary Help Services and Temporary Penetration Rate
Sadly, temporary help services saw a slight drop in employment, which is the first time in a long time that the U.S. has seen temporary employment data drop. With this 4,100-employee decrease, there are now 2,863,200 employed persons in temporary help services, a sub-sector of professional and business services. Like temporary employment, the temporary penetration rate fell 0.006 percent in January, despite consistently meeting and shattering record highs for much of 2014.
The BLS’ annual revision of data, also conducted in January, showed a change in the number of temporary jobs added in 2014. The total number was revised to 178,400, which is a reduction of 38,200 jobs for the year. Though this seems like a significant drop, economists are still optimistic for temporary employment gains for the future.
Wage Increases See Highest Month-Over-Month Increase Since 2007
Though the U.S. has been noticing slight wage increases here and there, January’s increase was the best since 2007. The average hourly worker saw a 12-cent-per-hour raise last month, signaling a confident economy, according to the Department of Labor Secretary, Thomas F. Perez. Between optimistic job seekers, low gas prices, and wage growth, people are happier and more willing to spend. Bank of the West’s Chief Economist, Scott Anderson says to look at this pick-up in hourly earnings as “a belated Christmas present” for both the public and the Federal Reserve.
That’s all there is for this month’s Temporary Workforce Report. What are your thoughts about the temporary help services rate this month? Tweet your thoughts about January’s employment situation to @BeelineVMS!