2015 job growth fueled by health care and business services

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly all sectors of the U.S. economy contributed to the stellar job gains in 2015. But three stood out for their sheer volume of hiring: Professional services, health care and restaurants. Professional and business services added 605,000 jobs last year. That category includes...

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly all sectors of the U.S. economy contributed to the stellar job gains in 2015. But three stood out for their sheer volume of hiring: Professional services, health care and restaurants.

Professional and business services added 605,000 jobs last year. That category includes accountants, architects, attorneys, administrative services and temporary workers.

Health care alone accounted for more than 474,000 new jobs, thanks to robust hiring by hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.

More jobs led to more spending on leisure, particularly eating out. Restaurants and bars boomed, and they added more than 357,000 jobs.

In December, U.S. employers added a robust 292,000 jobs, bringing the year's total job growth to 2.65 million. The unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent.

Industry (change from previous month) December 2015 November 2015 Past 12 months
Construction 45,000 48,000 263,000
Manufacturing 8,000 2,000 30,000
Retail 4,300 32,000 274,000
Transportation, warehousing 23,100 20,200 94,200
Information (Telecom, publishing) 16,000 -9,000 50,000
Financial services 11,000 15,000 147,000
Professional services (Accounting, engineering, temp work) 73,000 21,000 605,000
Education and health 59,000 50,000 655,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment 29,000 47,000 419,000
Government 17,000 12,000 99,000
Source: Labor Department
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