With the BLS release of December nonfarm payroll (NFP) numbers we can compare 2016 job growth to that of 2015. First, though let’s take a look at year-on-year (YoY) changes since 1990:
While the economy continues to add jobs, the rate is slowing: 2.03 million in 2016 compared to 2.79 million in 2015. In percentage terms, NFP employment grew by 1.4% in 2016 compared to 2.0% in 2015. Here’s table showing employment growth (in millions) and the YoY percent change for each year of the current expansion:
2016 has posted the smallest job growth since 2010, and slightly less than 2011. Job growth for the current expansion may have peaked in 2014.
Here’s a table showing NFP employment growth in 2016 and 2015 at the industry level:
A few observations:
- In 2016, as in 2015, growth was largely being driven by these four industries:
- Education and health services
- Professional and business services
- Trade, transportation, and utilities
- Leisure and hospitality
- Construction’s contribution for 2016 was less than half that of 2015 in percentage terms.
- As noted above, manufacturing and state governments switched from positive contributions (adding jobs) in 2015 to a negative (losing jobs) in 2016.
- Compared to 2015, local governments were a significant source of job growth.
This chart shows the contribution to NFP employment by industry for both 2015 and 2016: