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Friday, February 02, 2024

January Employment Report: 353 thousand Jobs, 3.7% Unemployment Rate

by Calculated Risk on 2/02/2024 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 353,000 in January, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, and social assistance. Employment declined in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up by 9,000, from +173,000 to +182,000, and the change for December was revised up by 117,000, from +216,000 to +333,000. With these revisions, employment in November and December combined is 126,000 higher than previously reported.
emphasis added
Employment per monthClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the jobs added per month since January 2021.

Total payrolls increased by 353 thousand in January.  Private payrolls increased by 317 thousand, and public payrolls increased 36 thousand.

Payrolls for November and December were revised up 126 thousand, combined.

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 2.93 million jobs.  Employment was up solidly year-over-year.

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

Employment Pop Ratio and participation rate The Labor Force Participation Rate was unchanged at 62.5% in January, from 62.5% in December. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.

The Employment-Population ratio increased to 60.2% from 60.41% (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 was unchanged at 3.7% in January from 3.7% in December.

This was well above consensus expectations and November and December payrolls were revised up by 126,000 combined.  

On the annual benchmark revision:
The seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment level for March 2023 was revised downward by 266,000. On a not seasonally adjusted basis, the total nonfarm employment level for March 2023 was revised downward by 187,000, or -0.1 percent. Not seasonally adjusted, the absolute average benchmark revision over the past 10 years is 0.1 percent.
I'll have more later ...