Friday, February 06, 2015

January Employment Report: 257,000 Jobs, 5.7% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 2/06/2015 08:48:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 257,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities, and manufacturing.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +353,000 to +423,000, and the change for December was revised from +252,000 to +329,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December were 147,000 higher than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses since the last published estimates and the monthly recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to these revisions.
...
[Benchmark revision] The total nonfarm employment level for March 2014 was revised upward by 91,000.
emphasis added
Payroll jobs added per monthClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the monthly change in payroll jobs, ex-Census (meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed - mostly in 2010 - to show the underlying payroll changes).

Total payrolls increased by 257 thousand in January (private payrolls increased 267 thousand).

Payrolls for November and December were revised up by a combined 147 thousand, putting November over 400 thousand!

Year-over-year change employmentThis graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In January, the year-over-year change was 3.21 million jobs.

This was the highest year-over-year gain since the '90s.

And improved earnings: "In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 12 cents to $24.75, following a decrease of 5 cents in December. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.2 percent."

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment ratesThe third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

The Labor Force Participation Rate increased in January to 62.9%. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.   A large portion of the recent decline in the participation rate is due to demographics.

The Employment-Population ratio was increased to 59.3% (black line).

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

unemployment rateThe fourth graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate increased in January to 5.7%.

This was above expectations of 230,000, and with the upward revisions to prior months, this was another strong report.

I'll have much more later ...