Carpe Diem

A few bright spots from today’s jobs report: Temporary help, auto jobs, oil and gas jobs, construction jobs, college grads

Image Credit: shutterstock

Image Credit: shutterstock

From today’s Employment Situation Report:

1. Temporary Help Services Employment increased by 13,100 jobs in August from July, and by 181,700 jobs from a year ago at a rate of about 700 new hires per day, to a new record high employment level in August of 2.715 million. Over the last year, temporary and contract employment has grown by 7.17%, which is more than four times the 1.64% increase in overall US payrolls since last August.

2. Motor Vehicles and Parts Employment increased by 18,800 jobs in August and by 34,300 jobs from a year ago at hiring rate of nearly new 132 jobs per day to the highest level since October 2008, almost five years ago. The 4.4% growth in auto-related jobs since last August is more than double the 1.64% growth in US payrolls over that period.

3. Oil and Gas Extraction Payrolls increased by 1,400 new jobs from July to August and by 8,300 new jobs over the last 12 months at a hiring rate of 32 jobs per day to reach a 25-year high in August of 196,300 jobs. Over the last 12 months, oil and gas payrolls have increased by 4.4% compared to the 1.64% increase in total US payrolls over that period.

4. Construction Employment was flat in August, but up by 168,000 jobs and by 3% over the last 12 months (compared to 1.64% for all jobs), at a hiring rate of almost 650 new jobs every day.

4. Employment gains for workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher have been especially strong, and the jobless rate for that group fell in August to 3.5%, the lowest rate since November 2008. Workers 25 years and over with a bachelor’s degree or higher have captured 72.2% of the job gains for that age group (25+ years) over the last 12 months (967,000 jobs out of 1,339,000 total), even though college graduates represent only 37.5% of all workers aged 25 years and over. In contrast, there was a decrease of 152,000 jobs from August 2012 to August 2013 for workers age 25 and over with less than a high school diploma. On an annual basis, jobs for college graduates have grown by more than 2%.

Bottom Line: Temporary help, oil and gas extraction, auto manufacturing, and construction are four of the strongest job-creating sectors of the US economy, and are all creating new jobs much faster than the overall rate of growth for new payroll jobs in general (1.64%). Additionally, job growth for college-educated workers at 2.1% over the last year, has been much higher than job growth for workers with some college (0.74%), workers with only a high school diploma (0.79%), and workers with less than a high school diploma (-1.54%). While the US is still in a “jobless recovery” and the employment report today was generally considered to be rather disappointing (see reports from my AEI colleagues Michael Strain and Jimmy P), we shouldn’t overlook the sectors of the US economy that are doing well and are experiencing very strong job growth like autos, energy and housing. And there are actually some reasons to be optimistic about the future of America’s job market as Jimmy P reports here.

3 thoughts on “A few bright spots from today’s jobs report: Temporary help, auto jobs, oil and gas jobs, construction jobs, college grads

  1. Except that the overriding problem is that there are fewer and fewer people in the workforce every month — almost 10MM fewer than at the start of the “recovery” . It’s hard to build a vibrant economy with rapidly declining numbers of people actually working to create wealth.

  2. AEI Pethokoukis, Economics, U.S. Economy
    Let’s face it: The US job market is dead in the water and not getting better
    James Pethokoukis | September 6, 2013, 10:43 am

    How do you know the August jobs report was pretty bad? When the best thing you can say is that it might have met Wall Street expectations if not for a temporary shutdown in the port industry last month. (The motion picture and sound recording industry lost 22,000 jobs in August, according to the BLS.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>