February 01, 2018

DCR National Temp Wage Index - February 2018


In December 2017, the U.S. economy added 148,000 non-farm jobs, according to the latest employment report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1%. The sectors with the most job gains included health care (+31,000), construction (+30,000), manufacturing (+25,000), food services and drinking places (+25,000), and professional and business services (+19,000). Employment in other major industries such as mining, wholesale trade, information, and financial activities saw little change over the month.

Average hourly earnings rose by 9 cents in December 2017, to $26.63. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have grown by 2.5%.

Contrast to ADP Numbers

The government figures contrasted with those from ADP, Inc., a payroll services firm which produces its own employment reports based on data from its clients. The ADP report said that nonfarm employment increased by 250,000 jobs in December 2017, with medium-sized businesses (50 to 499 employees) seeing the largest growth (100,000 new jobs). This was followed by small businesses (0 to 49 employees) with 94,000 new jobs and large businesses (500 or more employees) with 56,000 new jobs. According to ADP, there were only 9,000 new jobs in manufacturing, while trade/transportation/services gained 45,000 and professional/business services gained 72,000.

BLS vs ADP Numbers, December 2017




Health Care












Professional & Business Services



Financial Activities



Sources: BLS & ADP

American Vacancies

As per the Washington Post, the latest BLS report indicates a promising message to job seekers that employers want their job applications in 2018. While wages stayed steady in 2017, the unemployment rate fell, causing economists to predict that wage raises are on the horizon.

“There’s almost one job open for every unemployed person.” ~Dan North, Chief Economist at Euler Hermes North America

According to the BLS, there are currently 5.9 million job vacancies in the United States, and 6.6 million unemployed people. However, companies all over the country are struggling to fill roles, citing tight labor markets, failed drug tests, and retiring baby boomers. A forecast by Goldman Sachs predicts that the unemployment rate will drop to 3.5% by the end of next year, the lowest since 1969.