For all the fluctuations in monthly job growth, hiring has been strikingly stable for three years: Employers added 2.2 million jobs in 2013 and 2012, up slightly from 2.1 million in 2011.
Low-wage industries produced the biggest job gain last year, one reason wage growth has been weak. Employment in the temporary help industry rose nearly 10 percent — the biggest percentage increase for any major industry. Hotels, restaurants and entertainment firms reported the second-biggest increase, followed by retailers.
But hiring also improved last year in higher-paying professional services. This sector includes architects, engineers and information-technology workers.
Kenandy Inc., a developer of business software, expects to double its nearly 100-person staff this year after doubling it in 2013. CEO Sandra Kurtzig says the company is looking for software developers, salespeople and marketing and finance staff.