Year closes out with strong jobs report

The year 2015 will go down in the history books as a record time for job growth.

The year 2015 will go down in the history books as a record time for job growth. The numbers that came out in January solidified 2015 as the second-best year for job growth since 1999, according to the Washington Post. The nation's unemployment rate stayed steady at 5 percent a healthy number for a robust economy, according to the Federal Reserve. Employment in every industry but mining experienced job growth.

Putting the numbers in context
The U.S. economy has seen rising average wage numbers, consistent reduction of the unemployment rate and job growth in every single month since the Great Recession ended. This led the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates last month, and has subdued any fears of weak economy.

"2.65 million jobs were added in 2015."

"It is one more sign the domestic economy continues to chug along," Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, said to Reuters. "It is not a game-changer in terms of faster economic growth, but it offsets some of the other indicators that recently have suggested the economy might be slowing down."

The grand total for new jobs added to the economy tallied at 2.65 million for 2015, the Post reported. This is slightly below the 3.1 million that was gained in 2014, but remains a strong number nonetheless.

While most industries grew, the mining sector continued its decline. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 41,000 jobs were filled in 2014, but the industry lost 129,000 in 2015.

By the numbers
Professional and business services, and construction sectors added the most jobs in December, while retail, financial trade and government experienced little change, according to the BLS.

  • The professional and business service industry plugged 73,000 jobs into the economy in December, bringing its total to 605,000 on the year. This number is on par with its performance in 2014, when it added 704,000 new jobs.
  • Construction added 45,000 new workers to the sector which brought the total to 263,000 on the year. In 2014 the industry gained 338,000 new employees. Specialty trade contractors accounted for 29,000 of the new hires.
  • Health care employment continued its healthy 2015 gains by introducing an additional 39,000 jobs to the market, and ended the year with an average of 40,000 new jobs every month. In 2014, that number only reached an average of 26,000 new jobs every month.
  • Food services created employment for 37,000 in December. Over 2015 it contributed 357,000 jobs to the economy.
  • Transportation and warehousing experienced a modest gain of 23,000 jobs in December.
  • Manufacturing added 14,000 jobs in the month but due to volatility, only gained 30,000 new employees on the year. This is a drastic downfall from its strong 2014 numbers, which introduced 215,000 jobs into the economy, and could be a sign of things to come.

The market continues its strong growth despite uncertainty in China's economy and on oil prices entering the new year. Many investors believe the U.S. is headed toward a bear market, which could slow job growth in certain industries early in 2016. The last two years growth, though, should serve as an indicator of good things to come for job seekers.

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