The waste and recycling industry employment has increased by 8,100 since the beginning of 2014, bringing industry employment to a new high of 382,700 in September 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry added 900 jobs in September making it the eighth consecutive month of employment gains. Since the 5-year industry low in employment in January 2010, nearly 34,000 jobs—growth of  nearly 10 percent— have been created in the waste and recycling industry. August’s statistics were also adjusted downward to 381,800, making a revised increase of 100 jobs for that month. “The growth in jobs follows general economic growth and consumer spending trends,” said Bret Biggers, the National Waste & Recycling Association’s (NW&RA) director, statistics & standards. “For many years, both have been seen steady growth. While fluctuations in monthly employment numbers occur, the trend over time for the industry has been positive.”

Nationally, 248,000 employees were added to the nonfarm payroll employment in September, while the U.S. unemployment rate declined to 5.9 percent, down from 7.2 percent in September 2013. The unemployment rate for the waste and recycling industry also decreased to 3.1 percent in September, down significantly from 6.7 percent a year ago. The waste management and remediation services category (NAICS 562) includes:  solid waste collection; hazardous waste collection; other waste collection; hazardous waste treatment and disposal; solid waste landfill; solid waste combustors and incinerators; other nonhazardous waste treatment and disposal; remediation services; materials recovery facilities; and all other waste management services.

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