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2015 job growth fueled by health care and business services

January 8, 2016

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 2015November 2015Past 12 months
Transportation, warehousing23,10020,20094,200
Information (Telecom, publishing)16,000-9,00050,000
Financial services11,00015,000147,000
Professional services (Accounting, engineering, temp work)73,00021,000605,000
Education and health59,00050,000655,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment29,00047,000419,000
Source: Labor Department
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