In the final monthly jobs report for 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the American economy added 74,000 jobs in December, a considerable slowdown for growth.
The construction industry took a relatively big hit in December, reporting a net decrease of 16,000 jobs. Total nonfarm payroll for the construction industry was roughly 5.8 million.
The nonresidential specialty trade contractors reported the largest loss in the construction industry, losing 12,900 jobs in the last month of 2013—"possibly reflecting unusually cold weather in parts of the country," notes a BLS press release.
Heavy and civil engineering construction also lost 8,800 jobs in an industry that employs roughly 890,000.
Conversely, architectural and engineering services added 5,300 jobs—an uptick from November's 3,100 jobs added, according to the latest report. Total nonfarm payroll for architectural and engineering services was nearly 1.4 million.
November's growth was revised up to 241,000 jobs added, from the initially-reported 203,000. The report released on Wednesday by payroll company ADP and Moody's Analytics showed markedly different growth rates—238,000 jobs added overall and 48,000 in construction. Economists predicted today's BLS report would show job growth somewhere in the 190,000 to 200,000 range.
Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi does not appear concerned about today's BLS report. "I wouldn't pay any attention at all to these numbers. They're not consistent with anything," he said on CNBC, as reported by Politico. "We're going to get the benchmark revisions, and they’re going to be all revised up and revised away."
All chart data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.