Accounting Loses 4,400 Jobs in November

Continuing choppy up-and-down pattern, says BLS today.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

In the strongest jobs report since the recession began, the government reported today that the nation had practically staunched its jobs hemorrhaging, months ahead of anticipation.

The Labor Department reported 11,000 jobs jobs lost in November, driving the unemployment rate down to 10%,  from 10.2% in October.

In the Accounting and Bookkeeping Services Sector, the job loss was 4,400, declining from a workforce of 935,000 in October, to 931,000 in November, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

November's seasonally-adjusted five-tenths of one percent retreat followed a revised October gain of four-tenths of one percent and a revised six-tenths of one percent decline in August. Year over year, the accounting sector declined 10% from last year's 941,000 level, seasonally adjusted.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the accounting and bookkeeping sector lost seven-tenths of one percent of its workforce from October to November, to stand at 882,700. Year over year, that's an 11% decline from November 2008's level of 892,700, not seasonally adjusted.

For some perspective, here's the 20-year view:

Click to enlargeSeasonally adjusted accounting and bookkeeping employment peaked at 968,700 jobs in December 2007, the onset of the latest recession, and has declined to 931,000, a loss of 37,700 jobs, or a 4% decline.

Meanwhile, the 20-year chart for only CPA firms, looks like this:

Click to enlarge

It shows that, for the latest month available, October, employment stood at 414,900, preliminary and not seasonally adjusted. That's down from the year-ago figure of 437,700, or 5% off.

The same chart shows that CPA firm rosters peaked at 444,900 just last March. Since then, firms have reduced their payrolls by 7,200 jobs, or about a 2%.

Previous market tops for CPA firms came in March 2001, with 434,500 jobs; March 2006, 418,300 jobs; and March 2008, 444,800 jobs. Market bottoms are at August 1993 at 297,300 jobs and August 2003, with 356,300 jobs. That said, CPA firms made a net gain of 55,200 jobs from the August 2003 nadir to August this year.

Accounting firms remain, long-term, a growing business.

2 Responses to “Accounting Loses 4,400 Jobs in November”

  1. Michael White

    As a tax accountant seeing this just makes me want to send thank you cards to the IRS, and of course tax payers who like to bury their heads in the sand. At my CPA firm,( I see bad times just shift normally well organized & clear thinking people to those who just want to avoid bad news, and thereby create more opportunity for folks like me.

  2. Caleb

    Great post Rick – thanks for covering stats for accountants, really good information.

    I was laid off *last* November and the number was something in the neighborhood of 600k total jobs lost. What a year.

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