January 2016 Jobs Report: 292k Jobs Added in December

Posted by Paladin on January 11, 2016

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

Creative professionals looking for jobs are seeing more opportunities in an improving economy, although certain industries have more vacancies than others. In December 2015, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 292,000, much higher than Wall Street’s expectation of between 200,000 and 215,000.

Overall, the U.S. economy created 2.65 million jobs in 2015, its best performance since 1999. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5 percent, as did the labor participation rate at 62.6 percent, according to BLS’s Jan. 8 report.

292K Jobs Added in December 2015

In this economy, creative professionals have more career opportunities in certain high-growth sectors. In December, the following industries had the most job gains:

  • Professional and business services: +73,000
  • Construction: +45,000
  • Health care: +39,400
  • Food services and drinking places: +36,900
  • Manufacturing, mining, and similar heavy industries continue to struggle.


Wage levels

Creative professionals who possess in-demand skills have potential opportunities for promotions and salary increases. Skills such as SEO, digital marketing, Web design, and social media are in high demand. And it may be key to take advantage of these opportunities, which aren’t necessarily crossing over to other professions. In December, average hourly wages remained unchanged at $25.34 an hour.

Most American workers continue to feel the effects of persistent wage stagnation. The year-over-year increase in wages was pegged at 2.5 percent, which is below the 3-4 percent range many economists had expected. The lack of wage increases can be partly attributed to the continued struggles of the manufacturing sector, which has lost millions of high-paying jobs to offshore competitors. The manufacturing index — a key metric for the industry — is at its lowest level since 2009. Also, the labor market has an excess pool of part-time and temporary workers, a situation that enables employers to keep wages low.

How creative professionals can succeed

Many employers are looking to hire professionals who can add new skills at a time when innovation and best practices are seen as competitive advantages. In creative, educational pedigree has less importance—it’s all about having the ability to boost organizational results. Take a look at Paladin’s free 2016 Salary Guide.

Here are the top 10 creative and marketing jobs in 2016:

  • Account Executive: $70,578
  • Media Buyer: $63,069
  • Market Research Analyst: $64,599
  • Brand Manager: $100,931
  • Marketing Manager: $100,645
  • Graphic Designer: $54,198
  • Art Director: $121,974
  • Content Manager: $99,967
  • User Experience Designer: $95,717
  • Web Producer: $78,135

Macro trends

December’s BLS report portends a positive outlook for 2016, but it also comes with a caveat. The Federal Reserve could continue to raise interest rates during the year. Additionally, low prices in oil and other raw materials could be an indicator for low global demand.

In terms of the job market, the availability of creative jobs seems to indicate that many companies are embracing the digital revolution. Many employers want to improve their business practices by implementing better processes such as digital analytics, easier payments, and omnichannel integration. Creative professionals should acquire new skills that help them adapt to an evolving labor market. Stay ahead of industry trends with 2016’s top 5 marketing conferences!

Posted in: Jobs Reports, Monthly Economic Reports

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