The Industries That Added The Most Jobs In December

The job market saw a net gain of +223,000 in December, with the openings being added to education, health services, and hospitality.

By Brian Scheid | Published

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A potential looming recession is in the back of everyone’s mind, as we have watched inflation skyrocket in all corners of our nation. One of our country’s biggest concerns is whether we will lose jobs at a time when our dollar has decreased buying power.  The latest jobs report that covers the end of the year shows that we have added jobs to our workforce over the last 31 days of the year.

Overall, the United States saw an increase of 223,000 jobs in December over the total jobs that were available at the end of the month of November. This is good news for job seekers and economists alike and points to a healthier overall economy to ring in the New Year. But sometimes it is not the overall increase or decrease in jobs that are the most important factor to nurturing a healthy economy, it is more important where those added jobs come from that determines if we are progressing positively or negatively. 

According to CNN Business, “The monthly jobs report showed that some of the biggest gains were in industries such as leisure and hospitality, health care, and accommodation and food services.” These were all sectors that had contracted during the Covid pandemic due to the change in consumer behaviors regarding going out to eat, seeing a movie, vacationing in other locations, or even making regular doctor visits. Lockdowns and public mandates forced those industries to cut staff down to bare-bones essential personnel needed to operate those businesses’ basic functions.

Now that we are somewhat removed from the initial waves of the pandemic, even though the virus is still present and circulating in our population, the fear that kept many of us homebound for the better part of two years has subsided. This has created a behavior shift back to a more normal way of life in which those industries are having to continue to expand their staffs to keep up with ever-increasing demands for their services. This trend is a relief for many service industry workers and owners of those businesses that survived being shuttered entirely and then operated with customer capacity limits during the initial outbreak and the following variant surges.

When consumer behaviors change, it always will cause an expansion in industries that may have been struggling or staying stagnant in recent times, but the other side of the coin is that adding jobs always creates a contraction in other industries.  CNN Business also reported about the jobs report, “Industries such as information, finance, retail, transportation, and professional and business services all shed jobs between November and December.”

Some of the major sectors that showed the biggest gains were education and health services were +78,000 jobs, and leisure and hospitality added an additional 67,000 jobs. The major sectors that showed the largest contractions were the professional and business services sector lost -6,000 jobs, and the information sector lost -5,000 jobs in December’s report.

What we can say in analyzing the data from these reports is that we are seeing a shift back to pre-pandemic consumer behaviors and a shift away from the adjusted behaviors caused by the pandemic. This is welcome news to all of us who had an entire two-year period of our lives that was radically different in how and what we did not only for work but how that work was even accomplished from our homes. The added job gains are positive for our economy and, hopefully, being able to head off that impending economic recession.