WASHINGTON, DC-The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7% from 7% as the economy added 74,000 jobs in December.
That 74,000 number is a significant drop from the monthly average, which has been 182,000. December’s job gains occurred mainly in retail trade and wholesale industries. There was a decline in construction jobs, by some 16,000 positions.
For office asset class watchers, the numbers are heading in the right direction if not volume. Employment in professional and business services reached 19,000. Again, though, that hardly meets the monthly average in 2013 of 53,000. There was a surge of temporary help services for the month, of 40,000, as employment in accounting and bookkeeping services declined by 25,000.
The pullback in new hiring is a matter of concern for the office sector, Scott Homa, JLL’s Director of Research tells GlobeSt.com. Although the near-term trend is somewhat discouraging on a macro level, we’re optimistic that the robust economic growth the nation is experiencing in certain sectors, such as high-tech, healthcare and education, will soon offset the stagnancy in other areas.”
Homa points to the US GDP growth of 4.1% last quarter as evidence.