Could the US economy be looking up? A report from payroll provider Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) seems to show as much. In January 2012, 170,000 new jobs were created in the private sector alone - most of them based on services and not the production of goods.
According to Fox Business News, the growth was expected. What does this mean for hopeful workers? Not much. The unemployment rate still hovers at about 8.5 percent. Because the real growth measured up to estimates, the forecast for potential jobs in the nation is not slated to change much, if at all.
The news is also rather depressing since job growth slowed - the private sector created 292,000 new jobs in December of last year according to Forbes. There is some discrepancy in numbers, however. The ADP figures don't include farm work or government jobs. These numbers are reported in the official Bureau of Labor Statistics report slated for release later in the week.
So what do all these numbers mean? The US economy is recovering - but slowly - due to the creation of new jobs. 56 percent of the jobs came from small businesses - mom-and-pop enterprises and brand new startups or any enterprise with at least one but with fewer than 50 employees. Medium-sized businesses with 50 to 499 employees accounted for 42 percent of jobs while big businesses with more than 500 employees added just 2 percent of the jobs created this month.
CNBC breaks it down, explaining that almost 89 percent - 152,000 of the jobs created this month - were in the service industry. Everything from tax preparers to freelance writers to the person who grooms your dog's toenails would be counted in this category. Jobs focusing on creating goods accounted for 18,000 of the jobs created this month - so those producing products for sale to the public. 10,000 new manufacturing jobs - like factory laborers - were added in January followed by a mere 2,000 construction jobs.
So if you're looking for work, hit up your locally owned small business and avoid big box employers and retailers when pounding the pavement. Learn a new skill that people are looking for. If you've got a head for numbers, keep the upcoming tax season in mind. If you're a fan of cute furry things, see if you can get bonded as a pet sitter. Don't give up hope if you're out of work - you may just need to think outside the box to earn your paycheck.
Have you felt the economic crunch in recent months? Are you now employed or still looking for work? What's the most interesting service-oriented job you've ever held?