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Friday, February 03, 2023

January Employment Report: 517 thousand Jobs, 3.4% Unemployment Rate

by Calculated Risk on 2/03/2023 08:49:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 517,000 in January, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth was widespread, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care. Employment also increased in government, partially reflecting the return of workers from a strike.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up by 34,000, from +256,000 to +290,000, and the change for December was revised up by 37,000, from +223,000 to +260,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 71,000 higher than previously reported.
emphasis added
Employment Recessions, Scariest Job ChartClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms.

The current employment recession was by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms.

Total jobs are now 2.70 million above pre-pandemic levels. This is the last update for this graph this employment cycle.

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

In January, the year-over-year change was 4.97 million jobs.  Employment was up significantly year-over-year.

Total payrolls increased by 517 thousand in January.  Private payrolls increased by 443 thousand, and public payrolls increased 74 thousand.

Payrolls for November and December were revised up 71 thousand, combined.

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

Employment Pop Ratio and participation rate The Labor Force Participation Rate increased to 62.4% in January, from 62.3% in December. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.

The Employment-Population ratio increased to 60.2% from 60.1% (blue 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 3.4% from 3.5% in December.

This was well above consensus expectations; and November and December payrolls were revised up by 71,000 combined.  

On the annual benchmark revision:
The total nonfarm employment level for March 2022 was revised upward by 568,000 (+506,000 on a not seasonally adjusted basis, or +0.3 percent). The average not seasonally adjusted benchmark revision (in absolute terms) over the past 10 years is 0.1 percent.
I'll have more later ...