Staffing firms created 14,700 new jobs in December, up 0.5% from November and 7.8% from December 2013, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Year-to-year staffing job growth averaged 8.7% in 2014, compared with 6.4% in 2013.
Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment decreased 0.2% from November, yet increased 7.6% from the same month last year.
“In 2014, staffing employment experienced sustained growth as companies continued to add to their workforces and increase their strategic use of temporary and contract talent,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “Current economic indicators suggest more good news for job seekers in the months ahead with an increasing number of employment opportunities and options for U.S. workers.”
Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 252,000 jobs in December (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for October and November, monthly job gains averaged 289,000 over the past three months. In 2014, job growth averaged 246,000 per month, compared with 194,000 per month in 2013.
The unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage point in December to 5.6%. In 2014, the unemployment rate declined 1.1 percentage points.
BLS also released preliminary November employment data for search and placement services. Seasonally adjusted, employment decreased 0.3% from October to November, totaling 333,700, yet 11.2% higher than in November 2013.