“Professional and business services added 73,000 jobs in December. Much of the gain occurred in temporary help services (+34,000),” according to Erica L. Groshen, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, commenting on the December 2015 jobs report released today. Seasonally adjusted staffing employment was up 1.2% from November and 3.3% from December 2014. Year-to-year staffing job growth averaged 4.7% in 2015, compared with 5.6% in 2014.
Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment increased 0.8% from November to December. Year-to-year, there were 3.1% more staffing employees in December than in the same month the prior year.
“The economy cooled in 2015, while the labor market participation rate reached a 30-year low, and skills gaps widened,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “As employers continue to strategically grow their permanent and flexible workforces, staffing and recruiting firms are helping job seekers find the best match with their skill sets and lifestyle preferences.”
Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 292,000 jobs in December (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for October and November, the data showed that monthly job gains averaged 284,000 over the past three months. In 2015, job growth averaged 221,000, compared with 260,000 per month in 2014.
The unemployment rate held at 5.0% in December—the third consecutive month.