A Snapshot of Trends in Employment By Industry

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The economy continues its march back to full employment, adding 246,000 jobs in January, per the ADP® National Employment Report. According to the ADP® Workforce Vitality Report (WVR), some industries are faring better than others. A composite reading of total wages, hours worked, job switchers' wages and total employment, the ADP Workforce Vitality Index, showed a 4 percent increase from one year ago.

Industries on the Rise

1. Construction

The construction industry has consistently grown throughout 2015 and 2016. In Q4 2016, the workforce Vitality Index for the full labor market was 112.4, while the construction industry registered an index reading of 124.4 — the highest number for any industry in the report. Construction has also had the highest employment growth of any other industry, jumping 3.3 percent in 2016. The average employment growth across all industries was 1.8 percent.

2. Leisure and Hospitality

The leisure and hospitality industry has also consistently surpassed the benchmark Workforce Vitality Index. In Q4 2016, the leisure and hospitality index was a strong 120.2, with wage growth registering a strong upward trend as well. "Employees in the leisure and hospitality industry continued to experience significant wage increases in the fourth quarter of 2016," says Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute® in the latest WVR. "The leisure and hospitality industry was also among the top three industries for employment growth at 2.6 percent."

Industries Looking for a Boost

1. Manufacturing

In line with broader economic trends, the manufacturing industry had a workforce vitality index reading below the benchmark for 2015-2016. In Q4 2016, manufacturing's index was 107.1, the lowest score for any industry. Yearly employment growth in manufacturing was also the lowest of any industry with a decrease of 0.3 percent, aside from resources and mining.

2. Trade and transportation

The trade and transportation industry has generally reflected trends in manufacturing. The recent Workforce Vitality Index is consistent with this trend, with the manufacturing industry showing a reading of 107.1 (below the overall benchmark of 112.4), while trade and transportation was 109.4.

As the business community focuses on 2017, the economy continues to hum along. There are bright spots and there are places for improvement, as to be expected. However, business leaders will continue to focus on recruitment and retention as the labor market continues to tighten.

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