The February jobs report: An impressive month for job growth

The February jobs report beat out expert predictions, adding over 235,000 jobs across a variety of industry sectors.

The February jobs report continues the 18-month streak of high hiring numbers and an unemployment rate under 5 percent. The Wall Street Journal noted these early 2017 numbers still aren't quite at prerecession levels, but they continue to look promising.

The number of jobs added in February totaled roughly 235,000, bringing the unemployment rate to 4.7 percent. Several industries benefited from this growth, including traditionally stagnant fields such as manufacturing and mining.

The WSJ reported that January and February 2017 are the best performing months for employment since June and July of 2016. This is great news for job seekers. As the pool of unemployed workers shrinks, competition for talent will benefit those still left in the market.

Before diving into positions with high growth potential, take a look at some of February's big winners:

Industries with the most growth in February

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries with the most impressive growth in February were:

  • Construction: 58,000 jobs added.
  • Professional and business services: 37,000 jobs added.
  • Private educational services: 29,000 jobs added.
  • Manufacturing: 28,000 jobs added.
  • Health care: 27,000 jobs added.
  • Mining: 8,000 jobs added.

Employment in the mining sector reached a record low in October 2016, which makes this recent addition notable. The BLS reported the majority of these positions were in support roles within the industry.

The retail sector, on the other hand, felt significant losses during February. This is likely due to the continued drop in seasonal employment. Overall, the retail trade industry lost 26,000 jobs in February.

Dissecting three promising job categories

Job seekers may be interested in three well-performing categories: private educational services, health care and professional and business services. With the help of an experienced recruiter, job seekers could find desirable positions in these growing fields.

"IT support staff positions may see future growth."

Positions within the private educational services industry may include teachers, classroom aides and administrative staff, as well as support staff with IT and contracting functions. Private institutions can range from elementary schools to colleges and trade schools.

"Within the first few months of the year, we have seen growth within Infrastructure Support and IT Security positions in the Indianapolis market," commentedKristen Rodriguez, Recruiting Manager for Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Indianapolis. "We expect to see this continue through the rest of the quarter. As more and more companies realize the need for managing complex technology, we expect to see continued growth within IT Support positions with a higher level of technical aptitude needed for these roles."

The healthcare industry has seen steady growth for several months. The need for physicians and nurses isn't slowing down, especially as the baby boomer generation retires from the workforce. But it isn't only medical professionals who can benefit from this growth. Health IT staff are needed to support ever-changing compliance protocols and industry tech trends.

"Opportunities within Healthcare (specifically Clinical Research) remain plentiful," mentioned John O'Grady, Recruiting Manager for Beacon Hill's National Recruiting practice within the Pharma Division. "Our division continues to grow at a rapid rate and consistently offers opportunity to its contract and permanent candidates. Pharma and Biotech clients across the country continue to hire our skilled candidates, and we are substantially busier in Q1 of 2017 than we were in Q1 of 2016. We encourage all qualified candidates to reach out to our skilled recruiters to discuss our open positions in more detail."

Professional and business services is a broad category. According to BLS, this large sector includes scientific and technical services, company management and administration and support staff. Job seekers with interest in these competitive fields could benefit from the guidance of a recruiter.

Overall, the February jobs report is a promising one, beating out expert predictions. It may have a significant impact on future hiring decisions moving forward and shows the U.S. economy continues on in a strengthening position. For experienced professionals, this is good news. They may have more negotiating power when it comes to landing the job of their dreams.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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