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Friday, February 05, 2021

January Employment Report: 49 Thousand Jobs, 6.3% Unemployment Rate

by Calculated Risk on 2/05/2021 08:46:00 AM

From the BLS:

The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent in January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+49,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The labor market continued to reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In January, notable job gains in professional and business services and in both public and private education were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised down by 72,000, from +336,000 to +264,000, and the change for December was revised down by 87,000, from -140,000 to -227,000. With these revisions, employment in November and December combined was 159,000 lower than previously reported.
emphasis added
Year-over-year change employmentClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In January, the year-over-year change was negative 9.603 million jobs.

Total payrolls increased by 49 thousand in January.  Private payrolls increased by 6 thousand.

Payrolls for November and December were revised down 159 thousand, combined.

Employment Recessions, Scariest Job ChartThe second graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms.

The current employment recession is by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and is still worse than the worst of the "Great Recession".

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

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates The Labor Force Participation Rate  decreased to 61.4% in January. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.

The Employment-Population ratio increased to 57.5% (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 decreased in January to 6.3%.

This was below consensus expectations, and November and December were revised down by 159,000 combined.

On the annual benchmark revision:
The total nonfarm employment level for March 2020 was revised downward by 250,000 (on a not seasonally adjusted basis, -121,000 or -0.1 percent). Not seasonally adjusted, the absolute average benchmark revision over the past 10 years is 0.2 percent.

The over-the-year change in total nonfarm employment for March 2020 was revised from +808,000 to +577,000 (seasonally adjusted).
I'll have much more later ...