Finance Jobs Report: March 2014

Posted: Apr 20  |  By: Parker + Lynch

Jobs report summary for the finance and accounting industry based on the BLS report with February 2014 data.

175,000 Jobs Added in February Beat Expectations

As economists prepared for the release of the BLS’ “The Employment Situation – March 2014” report, they remained cautious, but optimistic. In November, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 274,000 jobs,  the highest monthly totals of 2013. The economy had recovered 5.4 million of the 8.7 million jobs lost during the recession.

When the BLS released its most recent jobs report on March 7th economists were surprised yet again. Rather than remaining stagnant or declining further, total nonfarm payroll employment actually surged in February, rising by 175,000 jobs. The nation’s civilian labor force also continued to improve, increasing by 264,000 and total employment rose by 42,000 jobs.

Although inconsistent, the economy is growing

Despite the welcomed rise in nonfarm payroll employment, many economists quickly pointed out that job creation must be more consistent to significantly lower the nation’s unemployment rate, measured at 6.7 percent in February.  The Professional and Business Services category accounted for more than half of the total (79,000 jobs) added in February. Within this sector, there was an unusual, but pleasing jump in accounting bookkeeping services of 15,700 jobs. This number partially offsets a decline of 30,800 reported in December.

Another steady employer, the temporary help services sector reported its 13th consecutive month of job creation in February, as total employment augmented by 24,400. Since February 2013, 18,975 new jobs, on average, have been generated within the sector on a monthly basis.

Will changes in temperature create changes in hiring?

A majority of economists believe the nation’s recent deceleration in hiring is a direct result of this winter’s Polar Vortex, which affected most regions of the United States. In February alone, 6.9 million full-time workers’ hours were lowered temporarily due to bad weather according to the Labor Department.

As temperatures rise this spring will the economy continue to recover at its current pace? It is uncertain as to whether companies will remain cautious and observe the market or new jobs and more hours will spread across the country.