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April 18, 2014

2012: A Strong Year of Consistent Growth

For nearly three years, steady gains have occurred across different sectors of the economy. Today’s jobs report marks 34 straight months of private sector job growth, which have added close to 5.8 million jobs. And December finishes a strong year of consistent growth with average increases of about 160,000 private sector jobs per month in 2012.

Monthly Change in Total Private Employment, February 2008 - December 2012

Monthly Change in Total Private Employment, February 2008 - December 2012. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Program.

The economy continued to show signs of strength and resilience throughout a month of fiscal uncertainty. This week’s bipartisan agreement extending tax cuts to protect 98 percent of families and 97 percent of small businesses from any income tax increase is an important step in the right direction. The same is true for the extension of crucial Unemployment Insurance benefits that serve as a necessary lifeline for millions of Americans still struggling to find employment, as well as generate $2 in economic activity for each dollar spent.   

Employment in Major Industries Since the Employment Trough, February 2010 - December 2012

Employment in Major Industries Since the Employment Trough, February 2010 - December 2012. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Program.

There is more work to do to ensure that the steady growth experienced in 2012 continues into the new year. Now is not the time to slow this recovery by failing to address our fiscal challenges and introducing further uncertainty into the economy. As we move forward to address our ongoing fiscal challenges, both spending cuts and continuing to ask the wealthy to do a little more will be part of a balanced approach.

We must continue to grow our economy, create jobs and strengthen our middle class by making investments in training, education and infrastructure.

© Copyright 2014 U.S. Department of Labor

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