The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in its employment situation report this morning that +157k nonfarm payrolls were added in January.
The BLS has made adjustments to all the payrolls figures from 2012, some significantly. With that said, this month’s payrolls print is worse than December’s revised reading of 196k, and is not a very strong data point in general. We have been muddling along the ~150k payrolls mark for a while now, a rate that if continued has lead and will lead to an abysmally slow recovery.
In what comes as a surprise to me, the retail sector led the job growth this month. Store sales have not been especially strong, so I expect these retail jobs to be reversed out in the coming months. The major decline in payrolls this month came in the transportation sector. Again note that “last month” is referring to the revised readings for December’s figures.
- Mining and Logging: +4k payrolls compared to +6k last month.
- Construction: +28k payrolls compared to +30k last month.
- Manufacturing: +4k payrolls compared to +8k last month.
- Wholesale Trade: +14.8k payrolls compared to +6.3k last month.
- Retail Trade: +32.6k payrolls compared to +11.2k last month.
- Transportation: -14.2k payrolls compared to +42.5k last month.
- Information Services: +9k payrolls compared to -3k last month.
- Financial Activities: +6k payrolls compared to +9k last month.
- Professional Services: +25k payrolls compared to +2k last month.
- Leisure and Hospitality: +23k payrolls compared to +33k last month.
- Other Services: +8k payrolls compared to +6k last month.
- Government: -9k payrolls compared to -6k last month.
The unemployment rate (U-3) increased to 7.9% from 7.8% in December, while the broader unemployment rate (U-6) was unchanged at 14.4%.
The labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio were both unchanged, at 63.6% and 58.6%, respectively.
Among production and non-supervisory employees, average weekly hours worked saw a slight decline to 33.6 from 33.7 in December. Average hourly earnings moved up to $19.97 from $19.92 last month.
The average duration of unemployment experienced a tremendous decline in January, falling to 35.3 weeks from 38.1 last month. I have included a longer time frame on this chart though to provide some context. While this months print is a strong improvement, we are still in a very deep hole. This is still the leading employment indicator that shows how “this time is different.”
Those who have been unemployed the longest saw more good news this month. Percent of unemployed by duration:
- Less than 5 weeks: 22.4% compared to 22.0% last month.
- 5 to 14 weeks: 24.5% compared to 23.3% last month.
- 15 to 26 weeks: 15.0% compared to 15.6% last month.
- 27 weeks and over: 38.1% compared to 39.1% last month.
Unemployment by age groups was somewhat mixed again, but it is interesting to see the older brackets with rising unemployment this month.
- 16 to 17: 28.4% compared to 25.8% last month.
- 18 to 19: 20.8% compared to 22.6% last month.
- 20 to 24: 14.2% compared to 13.7% last month.
- 25 to 34: 7.7% compared to 7.7% last month.
- 35 to 44: 6.5% compared to 6.6% last month.
- 45 to 54: 6.0% compared to 5.8% last month.
- 55+: 6.0% compared to 5.9% last month.
The unemployment rate for men increased to 8.0% from 7.9% in December, while the unemployment rate for women was unchanged at 7.8%.
The unemployment rate among all veterans in January was 7.6%, yet another substantial jump from last month’s 7.0%. In October the veteran unemployment rate was only 6.3%.
It was more bad news for male veterans this month, whose unemployment rate increased to 7.5% from 6.8%. Female veterans saw their unemployment rate decline to 8.8% from 9.1% in December.
2 of the 4 racial groups tracked by the BLS experienced unemployment rate increases in January.
- White: 7.0% compared to 6.9% last month.
- Black: 13.8% compared to 14.0% last month.
- Asian: 6.5% compared to 6.6% last month.
- Hispanic: 9.7% compared to 9.6% last month.
The unemployment rate increased in January for all education groups without a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Less than a high school diploma: 12.0% compared to 11.7% last month.
- High school graduates: 8.1% from 8.0% last month.
- Some college or Associate degree: 7.0% from 6.9% last month.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher: 3.7% from 3.9% last month.
Full table with changes: