August 12, 2014
Employment in waste and recycling reached a record high in July, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS reported that employment for the waste management and remediation services industry increased by 1,200 employees to 382,500 workers, or a 0.3 percent increase from the June levels.
“The BLS data reflect a general improvement in current economic conditions as well as seasonal factors impacting the industry,” said Sharon Kneiss, president and CEO of the Washington-based National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) in a news release. “Technological advances in materials, materials handling and consumer behavior patterns continue to influence waste-handling methods, creating efficiencies and innovation within the industry.”
Waste industry employment trends have mirrored national employment trends this year. The U.S. unemployment rate now is just above 6 percent, and the waste industry’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in July – close to a seven-year low.
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.