Friday, February 01, 2013

January Employment Report: 157,000 Jobs, 7.9% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 2/01/2013 08:32:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +161,000 to +247,000, and the change for December was revised from +155,000 to +196,000

[Benchmark revision:] The total nonfarm employment level for March 2012 was revised upward by 422,000 (424,000 on a not seasonally adjusted basis).


Payroll jobs added per month Click on graph for larger image.

The headline number was below expectations of 185,000. However employment for November and December were revised up sharply.

The second graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate increased slightly to 7.9% from 7.8% in December.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment ratesThe unemployment rate is from the household report and the household report showed only a small increase in employment.


The third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

The Labor Force Participation Rate was unchanged at 63.6% in January (blue line. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment ratesThe participation rate is well below the 66% to 67% rate that was normal over the last 20 years, although a significant portion of the recent decline is due to demographics.


The Employment-Population ratio was also unchanged at 58.6% in January (black line). I'll post the 25 to 54 age group employment-population ratio graph later.


Percent Job Losses During Recessions The fourth graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms, compared to previous post WWII recessions. The dotted line is ex-Census hiring.

This shows the depth of the recent employment recession - worse than any other post-war recession - and the relatively slow recovery due to the lingering effects of the housing bust and financial crisis.

This was another sluggish growth employment report, but with strong upward revisions to prior months.  I'll have much more later ...

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