Year-end employment and unemployment numbers for 2013 will be published on Jan. 10. Until then, there are mixed signals about the job market.
The Society for Human Resource Management said Thursday that it forecasts more hiring in the service sector but weaker hiring in the manufacturing sector this month, compared with January 2013. It also expects fewer layoffs, according to its survey of hiring managers.
The survey indicated that 28.9 percent of service sector organizations will add jobs this month, compared with a net of 26.7 percent of manufacturers.
Separately, the government reported that jobless claims fell by 2,000 for the week ending Dec. 28 to 339,000, the lowest since September. The 13-week average of new unemployment filings was unchanged at 343,000.
Continuing jobless claims, measured on a four-week average, stood at 2,858,000. That total has been in decline for the past three years, although there are occasional week-to-week upticks.
The total number of people receiving unemployment benefits was about 4.3 million at year’s end.