Employment is on the rise according to ADP Research Institute. The company reported that businesses added 215,000 jobs last month, which was more positions than expected. Bloomberg had projected only 140,000 jobs to be added for December. Last month’s increase was the largest it has been in almost a year. The previous month only 148,000 jobs were added to the economy.
Tomorrow a report from the Labor Department will give us a better picture of how the economy stands in terms of employment. However we do know that construction jobs were revived in December, possibly as more and more people began to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. Also there were 187,000 service positions added last month.
On average, businesses that have more than 499 employees added about 87,000 positions last month. Businesses between 50 and 499 workers added 102,000 jobs, while small businesses added 25,000 jobs. Tomorrow’s Labor Department report may show that overall hiring rose 150,000 in December, an increase from 146,000 the month before. It is also expected that the report will show a jobless rate of 7.7 percent, which would be the lowest rate it has been in four years.
Economists note that the fact that hiring was up in December amidst fears of the fiscal cliff is especially encouraging. They said employers were willing to hire even with the possibility of significantly increased tax rates at the start of the year.
Unfortunately employment wasn’t the only thing that has advanced. Unemployment claims increased last week according to the Labor Department. Jobless benefit requests were up 10,000 for the week ending Dec. 29. That brought the total number of last week’s jobless claims to 372,000, although economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected only 360,000 claims.