U.S. Employment Report for January-Rock Solid If You Ignore Where the Jobs Creation is Occurring

U.S. Employment Report for January-Rock Solid If You Ignore Where the Jobs Creation is Occurring

Today’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed an economy that continues to steadily generate new jobs. The 257,000 new jobs added in January basically matches the pace of jobs creation for all of 2014. With the revisions made by the BLS to the 2014 data, the nation averaged 259,000 new jobs per month in 2014. More impressive was the trend. What the headline news does not show is that we started 2014 with an average of 193,000 jobs being added per month in the first quarter. By the fourth quarter of the year the nation was adding an average of 324,000 jobs per month. Over the last three months (Nov ’14-Jan’15) the nation added 1,009,000 jobs.

What the headlines stories do not focus on is where the jobs are being created. Digging behind the headlines let’s us see where the job creation has been over the past year. The following table shows the jobs created from January 2014 to January 2015 by industry. I have sorted the data by average hourly earnings to show not only where the jobs are being created but what kind of wages are being paid for those industries.

  Private Industry Year-over-Year Jobs Added/(Lost) Average Hourly Earnings
Utilities 5,100 $36.01
Information 46,000 $34.42
Financial Activities 92,000 $31.09
Mining & Logging 27,000 $30.48
Professional & Business Services 369,500 $29.74
Wholesale Trade 82,500 $28.33
Construction 200.000 $26.98
Education & Health Services 441,000 $25.06
Manufacturing 193,000 $24.94
Transportation & Warehousing 139,500 $22.79
Other Services 58,000 $22.34
Retail Trade 260,900 $17.29
Leisure & Hospitality 402,000 $14.15
Temporary Help 179,500 $6.76


What the data shows is that the jobs paying between $30 per hour and higher had the least amount of jobs creation since January of 2014. Jobs paying between $30 per hour and higher only accounted for 7% of the jobs created. Jobs paying between $25-$30 per hour accounted for 44% of the jobs created and jobs that pay less than $25 per hour accounted for 49% of all jobs created.


About The Author

Steve Scranton is the Chief Investment Officer and Economist for Washington Trust Bank and is a CFA charter holder with over 30 years of investment experience with equities, tax-exempt and taxable fixed income securities. Steve actively participates on committees within the bank to help design strategies and policies related to client and bank owned investments. Steve also serves as the economist for the Bank and has been a featured speaker for both client and professional organization events throughout the Northwest.