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Friday, February 04, 2011

January Employment Report: 36,000 Jobs, 9.0% Unemployment Rate

by Calculated Risk on 2/04/2011 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 9.0 percent in
January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+36,000),
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
And on the benchmark revision:
The total nonfarm employment level for March 2010 was revised downward by 378,000 ... The previously published level for December 2010 was revised downward by 452,000.
The following graph shows the employment population ratio, the participation rate, and the unemployment rate.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates Click on graph for larger image.

The unemployment rate decreased to 9.0% (red line).

The Labor Force Participation Rate declined to 64.2% in January (blue line). This is the lowest level since the early '80s. (This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force. The participation rate is well below the 66% to 67% rate that was normal over the last 20 years.)

The Employment-Population ratio increased to 58.4% in January (black line).

Percent Job Losses During Recessions The second graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms from the start of the recession. The dotted line is ex-Census hiring.

For the current employment recession, the graph starts in December 2007, and this recession is by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only the early '80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse).

This was significantly below expectations for payroll jobs. Weather may have been a factor. I'll have much more soon ...