As the pace of economic activity moderated in 1995, job growth slowed. Nonetheless, it was enough to absorb the small increase in the supply of labor, with the result that the unemployment rate remained at about the same level it had reached at the end of 1994. In the first quarter of 1995, employment grew at a brisk pace but, as the economy began to slow, job gains fell sharply. Employment growth continued at a much more moderate pace for the balance of the year, so that, by the fourth quarter, nearly 1.9 million jobs had been added to the Nation's payrolls. By comparison, in the fourth quarter of 1994 alone, payroll employment had grown by 1.1 million. Most of the job gains in 1995 were in the services industry group. Manufacturing employment, which had been rising since the fall of 1993, began to decline in the spring, and by the end of 1995, that industry group had lost nearly a quarter of a million jobs. Employment increased in most of the other major industry groups, even though declines in some of their component industries partly offset gains in others.