Service Industry Better, But Lacking Jobs

A report on the majority of the nation's economy shows that the worst is over for service sector jobs, but that doesn't mean positions that have been eliminated will come back from the dead just yet.

As The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, the Institute for Supply Management's nonmanufacturing index — which focuses on 88 percent of the U.S. economy — shows that service sector jobs are expanding slightly.

The monthly report was released at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

CBS Reports: "Where America Stands"

Service sector jobs encompass a wide variety of occupations; the paper includes construction, finance and pet care as examples. In the report, the number 50 represents the divider between expansion and contraction.

The report shows the index reads at 50.1, which technically shows the sector in expansion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the index would stand at 50.5. The number marks the third of four months that the index sat above 50.

With the index standing so close to a number indicating contraction — it dipped to 48.7 in November — the paper reports it's unlikely the industry will rush to hire back employees unless there's a rush in sales.

Related stories from CBS News's "Where America Stands" coverage

The Future of Jobs in America
Fighting Foreclosure in Connecticut
Inside the World's Largest Corporate Training Center
Hopes and Fears for the Next Decade
Where America Stood, 50 Years Ago

  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for