Services industries grew in December

A new report shows U.S. services industries grew at a slower-than-expected rate in December, though they still showed signs of improvement.

The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index was at 53 last month, down from the 52.9 in November and lower than the 54.7 economists expected, Bloomberg reported. However, a reading over 50 represents growth, which could mean companies in the services industry are still expanding their businesses and hiring new employees – just not at the rate some forecasted. As companies look to add employees to handle an increase in activity, leaders can turn to operations recruiters to find qualified candidates and aid in other areas of the hiring process. 

Specifically, the non-manufacturing business activity index came in at 55.2 percent for December, down from 55.5 in November, but still reflecting growth for the 53rd month in a row, ISM reported. The employment index increased 3.3 percent in December to 55.8 percent. This shows employment has grown for the 17th consecutive month. 

Some experts weighed in on the ISM report. 

"It's not alarming at this point in time," said Anthony Nieves, chairman of the non-manufacturing survey, according to Bloomberg. "Business activity is still up, employment is still up, which leads me to believe that companies are still confident that they have enough in the pipeline."