Seasonally adjusted employment data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that staffing employment increased by 18,000 jobs from October to November (up 0.7%). In a year-to-year comparison, temporary help employment for the month was 7.7% higher than in November 2011. Over the previous 12 months, the temporary help industry has added an average of 15,200 per month to the economy.
Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that the staffing industry added 9,800 jobs (up 0.4%) from October to November. On a year-to-year basis, there were 6.7% more staffing employees in November than in the same month in 2011.
“It is still a tough employment market, but for job seekers, December is one of the best times of the year to look for work,” says Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “There’s a lot less competition, and companies with money in their budgets for new staff in 2013 are interviewing right now.”
Overall U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 146,000 jobs in November. Since July, the economy has added an average of 158,000 jobs per month—a slightly higher average rate than the 146,000 seen in the first six months of the year.
Employment growth was mostly driven by new job creation in retail trade (+53,000), professional and business services (+43,000), and health care (+20,000). Nearly 42% of employment growth in professional and business services may be attributed to job creation in temporary help services.
Employment declines in the economy were mostly noted in construction (–20,000) and manufacturing (–7,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and government, showed little change from October to November. “Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November,” said BLS acting commissioner John M. Galvin.
The overall U.S. unemployment rate edged down, dropping 0.2% to 7.7%.