Pace of Growth Eases in December, but Confidence Grows Among Labor Force for 2017

January 31, 2017

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released December labor numbers as well as details from a survey measuring the mood of the workforce after November’s election.

In December, temporary employment showed little change from November to December. In fact, it dropped .5% — indicating temporary hiring during the holidays slowed dramatically year over year. Year to year staffing growth averaged 1.7% in 2016 – a stark contrast to 2015’s growth of 4.2%.

“The US labor markets certainly took a hit in 2016,” said DISYS CEO Mahfuz Ahmed. “Industries across the spectrum hired cautiously in 2016 and the increased challenges to finding qualified talent for specialized roles also played a part in the final results for the year.”

Estimating the actual number of jobs in the economy, the nonseasonally adjusted BLS data indicated temp employment was flat from November to December and showed a year-to-year job growth averaging 1.6% per month.

Total US nonfarm payroll employment increased 156,000 jobs in December; seasonally adjusted – marking the 75th consecutive month for job growth, according to the BLS. If seasonally adjusted data for October and November is added to the mix, gains averaged 165,000 per month over the past three (3) months (showing an average of less than 189,000 a year ago).

The unemployment rate saw unnoticeable change – jumping to 4.7% over November’s 4.6%.

“The jobs report for December shows we have had the slowest rate of annual employment growth in several years – but growth nonetheless,” Ahmed said. “We are optimistically looking into 2017 hoping to see a revitalized interest in job market participation and increased corporate investment in hiring for essential positions.”

A recent report released by the American Staffing Association (ASA) shows these optimistic outlooks are quite possible.

In cooperation with survey curator Harris Poll, the ‘American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor indicates jobs were an important consideration in the November election.

Of the survey sample of about 2100 participants, 55% said job creation was more important than any other issue facing the nation and 52% of voters surveyed said potential job creation had a major or moderate influence on their ballot decision.

According to the ASA, the survey results underscore the expectations of a majority of Americans who hope congress and the administration will make job creation a priority.

American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor findings methodology
Harris Poll conducted the survey online within the U.S. on behalf of ASA, Dec. 16–20, 2016, among a total of 2,088 U.S. adults age 18 and older, of whom 1,812 identified as voters. Results were weighted on age, education, race/ethnicity, household income, and geographic region which is necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the U.S. population.

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