February 2016 Jobs Report: Growth Slows

Posted by Paladin on February 05, 2016

An employment summary based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) February 2016 monthly jobs report.


It’s a month of mixed results. In January, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000, modest growth compared to recent months. And although the unemployment rate only dipped slightly, it is encouraging to see it below 5.0%, at 4.9% (the unemployment rate for management, professional, and related occupations is just 2.3%, compared to 2.9% a year ago). See the full BLS report here.

Employment in the ever-important professional and business services grew by 9,000, after a whopping 60,000 increase in December 2015. On the other hand, professional and technical services jobs grew by 25,000, on par with recent growth.


It would behoove creative and marketing professionals to target sectors that are growing at a fast pace. Here are some of the fastest-growing sectors and sub-sectors, year-over-year:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Private service-providing
  • Retail trade
  • Financial activities
  • Leisure and hospitality



Overall, earnings are up slightly year-over-year (for professional and business services, average hourly earnings climbed from $29.77 in January 2015 to $30.50 in January 2016) and minimally month-over-month (for professional and business services, average hourly earnings went from $30.28 in December 2015 to $30.50 in January 2016).

Here are 2016 salary ranges, based largely on company size and geographic area, for top creative and marketing positions:

  1. Account Executive, $58,579-$99,371
  2. Brand Manager, $73,146-$130,182
  3. Graphic Designer, $39,697-$67,481

Get a full list of the top 10 positions and their salary ranges here.


Good News and Bad News

The good news is that the U.S. unemployment rate is at an eight-year low, dipping below the magic 5.0% mark. This is a sign of a healthy economy, especially considering how bad off the nation was post 2008 recession. The bad news is that overall job growth has curtailed. Some economists fear this is a sign, albeit an early sign, of yet another recession. However, it’s far too early to tell. Either way, the entire country anxiously awaits the next jobs report.

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