December was another strong month in what was the best year for U.S. hiring in over a decade, and hopes are high for a repeat in 2015.
With 252,000 jobs added in December, following a month with well-over 300,000 jobs, hiring in 2014 proved to be robust and is trending upward. The latest jobs report, which noted that hiring in the financial sector is on an upward trajectory as well, capped the best year for employment gains in the U.S. since 1999. Hiring in December once again outpaced experts' forecasts as well – estimates were around 240,000. Additionally, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent, the lowest level since the recession.
This robust hiring atmosphere doesn't seem to be cooling off either. Just like financial companies are expected to bolster their hiring efforts in the new year, so are most businesses in the country. The pace of hiring is so strong that Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, explained in a press release that if employment gains continue at this trajectory, the U.S. should be at full employment by this time next year. His optimistic take on U.S. hiring was included in a the ADP National Employment Report, which was put together in collaboration with Moody's.
"The economy added 3 million jobs in 2014. That was nothing if not a confidence booster telling hiring managers to begin scouring their recruiting networks for new hires of their own."
The report noted that the financial activities sector added 16,000 jobs, while professional and business services gained 69,000 jobs in December. The economy added 3 million jobs in 2014. That was nothing if not a confidence booster telling hiring managers to begin scouring their recruiting networks for new hires of their own. The number of people who had been unemployed for six months or more fell 28 percent in 2014, and the number of people with part-time jobs who would prefer full-time fell by 14 percent.
A problem that has yet to be solved is wage growth, which remains fairly soft. Average hourly pay made a meager 1.7 percent gain in 2014. Despite the fact that pay hasn't risen much in the last 12 months, pressures are combining that will hopefully force employers to lift wages in 2015. With hiring increasing and the unemployment rate dropping, increased competition for jobs should drive salaries up.
With hiring continuing at a furious pace and conditions set to drive wages up, 2015 is set to be a good year for job hunters seeking top financial jobs.