Waste and recycling employment reaches all-time high

Employment increases to more than 380,000 workers in July, according to BLS data cited by NW&RA.

August 11, 2014
Recycling Today Staff

Employment within the waste management and remediation services industry has reached a record high, according to the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA), citing statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

BLS announced employment of 382,500 workers in the waste industry for July 2014, an increase of 1,200 employees (0.3 percent) from June’s numbers. “The BLS data reflect a general improvement in current economic conditions as well as seasonal factors impacting the industry,” says Sharon H. Kneiss, president and CEO of the Washington-based NW&RA.
Waste industry employment trends have mirrored national trends this year. Nationally, 209,000 jobs were added in July 2014—the second consecutive month with an increase of 200,000 or more. The U.S. unemployment rate now hovers just above 6 percent; the waste industry’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in July, which the NW&RA says is near a seven-year low.

According to the NW&RA, 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, material recovery facilities and all other waste management services.

The National Waste & Recycling Association represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry, with member companies that collect and manage garbage, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors and other service providers.