Friday, December 5, 2014 / by Jason Schaefer
National reports indicated that 2014, with the addition of 321,000 jobs in the month of November, became the strongest year for job growth since 1999.
This is good news, and blew away the forecasted numbers experts were anticipating. The unemployment rate remained steady at 5.8%, which is down from 7% this time last year. Any month with over 200,000 jobs added is considered to be very strong. This year, the US economy has been averaging 224,000 jobs added per month.
Retail hiring continues to be strong nationwide. The Missoula area has seen this same growth with additional commercial construction happening, and retail businesses opening. Particularly on the sound end of town. Nationwide, 50,000 jobs were added in the retail sector - driven primarily by car dealerships and retail. Professional hiring has increased too, with 86,000 jobs added, many in the accounting and book keeping sectors.
One draw back, and we're seeing some of this in Missoula, are wages. Nationwide, this has been a concern for economic policy makers and the Federal Reserve. Wage growth has been slow due to the number of job seekers in the market. 2015 is shaping up to be very strong according to experts, and they don't see a slow down happening with hiring. Good news and hopefully this trend continues in the Missoula area as well.