From construction to health care, all industries powered US hiring surge in 2014

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The U.S. economy added nearly 3 million jobs in 2014 in the most robust year of employment gains since 1999. The hiring spree was broad-based, with every major industry sector logging job growth.

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Professional services, which includes high-skilled positions such as accounting and engineering, led the way in total jobs. It added 732,000 over the year. Health care, construction and leisure and hospitality also made notable gains.

The biggest percentage increase in job growth occurred in the temporary help industry, according to Labor Department data. Those jobs tend to pay less and provide fewer benefits.

That could partially explain one of the glaring weaknesses in Friday's jobs report: Americans' paychecks. They have barely kept ahead of inflation for most of the 5½-year-old recovery. In December, average hourly pay actually fell 5 cents to $24.57 an hour.

Here are the total number of jobs in various sectors and their growth over the past year:

Industry
Total jobs as of Dec 2014 Total jobs as of Dec 2013 Percent change Total change
Temporary help 2,990,400 2,773,800 7.8 216,600
Construction 6,166,000 5,876,000 4.9 290,000
Professional services (accounting, engineering) 19,574,000 18,842,000 3.9 732,000
Transportation, warehousing 4,685,900 4,546,600 3 139,300
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment 14,856,000 14,435,000 2.9 421,000
Health care 14,915,500 14,604,500 2.1 311,000
Wholesale trade 5,907,500 5,796,800 1.9 110,700
Education 3,421,400 3,365,000 1.7 56,400
Retail 15,511,300 15,261,700 1.6 249,600
Financial Services 8,022,000 7,901,000 1.5 121,000
Manufacturing 12,239,000 12,053,000 1.5 186,000
Information, telecommunication 2,689,000 2,674,000 0.6 15,000
Government 21,945,000 21,854,000 0.4 91,000

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Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics