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March 2006, Vol. 129, No. 3
Payroll employment in 2005: recovery and expansion
Robert P. Stephens, David Langdon, and Brady M. Stephens
Nonfarm payroll employment, as measured by the Current
Statistics (CES) survey, continued to grow at a modest pace in 2005, increasing by nearly 2.0 million.1 With this growth, employment recovered to its prerecession peak by February and then entered a period of expansion. (See chart 1.)
Employment growth was widespread, with most industries adding jobs. (See table 1.) A sustained period of historically low interest rates continued to boost demand for housing and remodeling throughout 2005 and supported ongoing hiring in construction and housing-dependent industries within financial activities and retail trade. Similarly, improved consumer confidence through most of the year helped spur employment growth in retail trade, as well as in leisure and hospitality industries. The effects of surging energy prices proved to be twofold, with mining experiencing unusually strong job gains, but many other industries seeing dampened hiring. Despite rising output, manufacturing was one of the three major industries not to add jobs in 2005. (The other two were information and other services.) The increased output, however, did help boost hiring in other industries, such as wholesale trade and trucking. Steady growth in State and local government revenues helped lift employment in the public sector.
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1 The Current Employment Statistics (CES) program is a monthly survey of more than 160,000 nonfarm businesses representing about 400,000 establishments. For more information on the program’s concepts and methodology, see BLS Handbook of Methods (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1997); on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/. CES data are available on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ces/. The CES data used in this article are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise noted.
Related BLS programs
Current Employment Statistics
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)
grows in 2004. — Mar.
The U.S. labor market in 2003: signs of improvement by year’s end—Mar. 2004.
U.S. labor market in 2002: continued weakness—Feb. 2003.
U.S. labor market in 2001: economy enters a recession—Feb. 2002.
The job market in 2000: slowing down as the year ended.—Feb. 2001.
The job market remains strong in 1999.—Feb. 2000.
Job growth slows during crises overseas.—Feb. 1999.
Strong job growth continues, unemployment declines in 1997.—Feb. 1998.
Employment in 1996: jobs up, unemployment down.—Feb. 1997.
Slower economic growth affects the 1995 labor market.—Mar. 1996.
Strong employment gains continue in 1994.—Feb. 1995.
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