A third straight month of strong jobs data suggest that U.S. households should be able to surmount the growing global challenges to the economic outlook, according to the latest topline U.S. jobs numbers.
The job count increased by 292,000 in December and the prior month gain was revised upward. The unemployment rate stayed at 5.0%.
Jobs in goods-related industries remained the weak spot, especially in oil and other energy-related industries. Construction job gains remained strong and nondurable goods manufacturing picked up.
See the table summary for more detail.
The best prospects are in construction (especially specialty trades), health care (especially doctors’ offices and home health), restaurants/food service, and in various professional and business fields such as accounting/bookkeeping, computer systems, and management/tech consulting.
Hot spots include California, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington, which have been benefiting from job growth in construction, technology, and business/professional jobs.
Weak spots include energy and mining dependent states such as Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming. In addition, Texas is showing slowing growth.