On Friday, when the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics released its final employment report for 2013, we reported (along with everyone else) how abysmal it was. A mere 74,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in December (on a seasonally adjusted basis, of course), which was a far cry from the 200,000 or so that most economists were expecting and the 238,000 jobs that private payroll company ADP and Moody's Analytics reported a couple of days before.

It was the worst month of the entire year for the BLS's employment reports. See here:



The architectural and engineering services sector, however, did much better than the rest of the economy last month. That sector added 5,300 jobs in December, its second highest total for the year. (See the chart at the top of this page.) Only October showed more job growth in 2013.

For 2013—with the exception of January, with a mediocre 1,100 jobs added; July, with an abysmal 2,400 jobs lost; and September, which limped in with a mere 100 jobs added—architecture and engineering jobs were pretty consistently added to the U.S. economy at a clip of roughly 3,000 to 5,000 jobs per month. In fact, if you look at the above chart, you'll notice an ever-so-slight tilt upward.

We'll see if that growth continues at a similar or faster pace for 2014.