This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the employment figures for the month of December, and there are encouraging signs for job seekers. The unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent in December, and nonfarm payroll employment increased by 103,000. Since December 2009, payroll employment has risen by 1.1 million, which is an average of 94,000 per month. The main industries where December job growth occurred were in hospitality and health care. The leisure and hospitality sector added 47,000 jobs in December 2010. Since December 2009, this industry has added nearly a quarter of a million jobs. Also, health care employment increased by 36,000 in December 2010.
Since September 2009, employment in temporary health services has increased by 495,000. Another area that showed significant job growth was in support activities for mining operations. Since October 2009, this industry has added 77,000 jobs. The construction industry has showed very little change in employment since March 2010, following a period from August 2006 to February 2010 in which 2.1 million jobs were lost. Also, retail trade employment was virtually unchanged in December, although the industry gained 116,000 jobs through the course of the year. An employment gain of 8,000 among motor vehicle and parts dealers in December was offset by a loss of 8,000 jobs in health and personal care stores.
Manufacturing employment did not exhibit significant change in December, and has been relatively flat since May. We hope that these encouraging trends will inspire you to stay active in your job search and take action for a better career. Make sure that you keep your resume fresh, and seek out opportunities in your areas of interest. At America’s Job Exchange, we offer various tools and resources to help sharpen your resume, distribute it to job sites, sign you up for job scouts to deliver relevant job information in your email box, and much more. Now is the time to act.