Optimism in the fourth quarter of the year 2011 increased significantly as Spark News reported earlier today. Typically, when people feel more comfortable and secure in their job, they feel more secure in their spending and financial situation. While the report earlier suggested that the job market was fairing better, the actual numbers hadn’t been released yet. This morning that changed as the December jobs report was released.
The statistics showed that December kept the ball rolling as the 15th straight month for job gains. On top of that, the December figure of 200,000 non-farm payroll jobs added is the highest number seen since March of 2009. In the private sector, 212,000 jobs were added along with an increased average work week and average hourly earnings.
So, how were these job gains distributed among the market? The largest gain was in the transportation and warehousing industries where 50,000 jobs were added. However, taking note of the seasonal impact on this industry is important and likely shouldn’t sway any job seeker to change their industry under the impression there are tons of jobs available. The manufacturing gain of 23,000 is a much more significant increase. Retail added 28,000 jobs and mining added 7,000- a surprising gain. The hot topic industry as of late with Spark News, the healthcare industry, also saw a 23,000 job gain proving it’s still a top industry. Unfortunately, the large professional and business services sector saw little to no gain.
In terms of private sector and public sector jobs, it should be no surprise that the private sector is fairing much better than the other. It’s 212,000 jobs gain illuminates the 12,000 cuts the public sector made in December. If you look at the cuts and gains of both sectors over the past two years, the public sector has slowly fallen under. In the year 2011, the private sector added a total of 1.92 million jobs while the public sector cut 709,000 since April of 2009.
Amid all this growth though, there are still areas that need uplifting and there are always improvements that need to be made. Unfortunately, the statistics show that in the month of December, 60,000 people dropped out of the labor force lowering the job market participation. We can chalk the loss up to end of the year relaxation and holiday fun. They’ll return to the job market, won’t they?