Friday, February 07, 2014

January Employment Report: 113,000 Jobs, 6.6% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 2/07/2014 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 113,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. ...
After accounting for the annual adjustment to the population controls, the civilian labor force rose by 499,000 in January, and the labor force participation rate edged up to 63.0 percent. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, increased by 616,000 over the month, and the employment-population ratio increased by 0.2 percentage point to 58.8 percent.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +241,000 to +274,000, and the change for December was revised from +74,000 to +75,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December were 34,000 higher than previously reported.
...
[Benchmark revision] The total nonfarm employment level for March 2013 was revised upward by 369,000 (+347,000 on a not seasonally adjusted basis, or 0.3 percent). ... This revision incorporates the reclassification of jobs in the QCEW. Private household employment is out of scope for the establishment survey. The QCEW reclassified some private household employment into an industry that is in scope for the establishment survey--services for the elderly and persons with disabilities. This reclassification accounted for an increase of 466,000 jobs in the establishment survey. This increase of 466,000 associated with reclassification was offset by survey error of -119,000 for a total net benchmark revision of +347,000 on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Historical time series have been reconstructed to incorporate these revisions.
Percent Job Losses During RecessionsClick on graph for larger image.

The headline number was well below expectations of 181,000 payroll jobs added.

The first 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.

Payroll jobs added per month
Employment is 0.6% below the pre-recession peak (866 thousand fewer total jobs).

NOTE: The second graph is the change in payroll jobs ex-Census - meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed to show the underlying payroll changes.

The third graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate decreased in January to 6.6% from 6.7% in December.

unemployment rate
The fourth graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

The Labor Force Participation Rate increased in January to 63.0% from 62.8% in December. 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 increased in January to 58.8% (black line).

I'll post the 25 to 54 age group employment-population ratio graph later.

This was a disappointing employment report, however there were some positives including upward revisions to previous reports, a decline in the unemployment rate, and an increase in the participation rate.  I'll have much more later ...

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