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Waste and Recycling Industry Employment Continues to Grow, According to Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment in the waste and recycling industry grew by 300 jobs in August, bringing the industry workforce to a new high of 382,500 employees, according to statistics released Sept. 5 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The August employment increase marked the seventh consecutive monthly increase for the waste and recycling industry.

“The waste and recycling industry continues to benefit from stable economic conditions. After adjusting for seasonal factors, employment in the industry reached another high mark,” said Bret Biggers, director, statistics and standards for the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA), which represents the private sector waste and recycling industry in the U.S.

The BLS revised downward July’s employment number for NAICS 562—the waste management and remediation services category to—382,200. The revised job gain for July was 900 jobs.

Waste management and remediation services include: solid waste collection; hazardous waste collection; other waste collection; hazardous waste treatment and disposal; solid waste landfills; solid waste combustors and incinerators; other nonhazardous waste treatment and disposal; remediation services; materials recovery facilities; and all other waste management services.

Nationally, 142,000 employees were added to nonfarm payroll employment in August. The U.S. unemployment rate fell slightly to 6.1 percent, down from 7.2 percent a year earlier. The waste and recycling industry’s unemployment rate remained near seven-year lows in August. Its unemployment rate in August was half the rate from a year ago – 4.4 percent versus 9.4 percent. The numbers do not reflect industry layoffs announced in August. Their effect on industry employment may be known in October, when BLS is scheduled to release September’s employment data.

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