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Unemployment up at 3.7%...AUG jobs under Trump HERE

Friday, February 6, 2015

January 2015 Unemployment Rate, Jobs Numbers and Reports

March 2015 numbers were released Friday, April 3.  Details HERE.

All 2011 - 2015 to date jobs and employment reports indexed HERE.


January 2015 Highlights (Specific reports listed below):
  • +257,000 new payroll jobs; +267,000 new private sector jobs.  These large increases are higher than the concensus of the "pundits".
  • Whoa!  The BLS increased its December and January numbers quite a bit:  " The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +353,000 to +423,000, and the change for December was revised from +252,000 to +329,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December were 147,000 higher than previously reported.  Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses since the last published estimates and  the monthly recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to these revisions." Those are really big revisions.
  • Unemployment rate increased slightly by  .1% (one tenth of a percent) to 5.7%.  This increase was largely due to statistical revisions in the numbers of people in the population.  The number of people employed, unemployed, in the labor force, and in the civilian population all increased as the BLS discovered that the civilian population increased by about 700,000 more than previously estimated.
  • Alternate unemployment rate increased slightly to 11.3% (from 11.2%).  Again, this increase was mostly due to annual population adjustments.
  • Labor force participation rate increased .2%.  The estimate of the number of people in the labor force increased by a whopping 1,051,000 due largely to population adjustments.  (This means that the number of people in the labor force had been underestimated for most of 2014.)  The reported number of people employed increased by 759,000, the reported number of people unemployed increased by 291,000.
  • Number of people working full-time increased by about 777,000 while number of people working part-time increased by about 40,000.  That's 3,061,000 MORE people working full-time over the past year, since January 2014, and 13,000 FEWER people working part-time over the past year. 
  • The number of involuntary part-time workers (people working part-time because they couldn't find full-time work) increased by 20,000 in January and dropped 464,000 over the past year, since January 2014.
  • The number of long-term unemployed (people looking for work over half a year) increased by 15,000 in January, but has dropped 828,000 over the past year, since January 2014.

Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 in seasonally adjusted numbers:
  • 11.2 million MORE jobs in total
  • 11.8 million MORE private sector jobs
  • 10.2 million MORE people working
  • 10.2 million MORE people working full-time.
  • 67,000 MORE people working part-time.  
  • (Yes, despite what you may have heard, from the depth of the recession until now, we have many more additional people working full-time vs. part-time jobs. When a recession hits, companies generally cut back on full-time workers first.  When companies start hiring again, the number of full-time workers increases.)
Since Bush left office & Obama took office (January 2009) in seasonally adjusted numbers:
  • 6.9 million MORE jobs in total
  • 7.6 million MORE private sector jobs
  • 6.0 million MORE people working
  • 4.9 million MORE people working full-time
  • 1.2 million MORE people working part-time

January 2015 reports: (Notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for JANUARY" when the updated reports become available.) 

Preview (written Thursday night):

"The pundits" expect about 230,000 more jobs (with a range of 215,000 to 268,000) when the BLS counts are released, with the unemployment rate remaining stable at 5.6%.  If there are many more jobs but the unemployment rate stays the same, this would be a good indication that more people have entered the labor force in January.
  • As I mentioned last month, census numbers show that we have finally turned the corner on inflation-adjusted median household income and it is slowly starting to increase.
  • Inflation-adjusted weekly and hourly wages for production and non-supervisory employees (which excludes most of the high income people) continue to creep up. These wages have been higher during the Obama years than during any six year period since the mid 1970's.
  • The ADP private payroller report came out yesterday which estimated an additional 213,000 private sector jobs in January, which was was lower than expected and lower than what is expected for the BLS numbers tomorrow.  But this does mean, according to ADP's estimates, that the US has added over 200,000 private sector jobs 9 out of the last 10 months.
  • The ISM (Institute of Supply Management) job indices predict a much lower rate of job growth, with no increase in the number of manufacturing jobs and an increase of only 115,000 non-manufacturing payroll jobs.
  • Bloomberg believes that "employers probably added more than 230,000 jobs in January after a 252,000 gain in December, while the unemployment rate held at 5.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg survey as of Jan. 29. The U.S. job market is coming off of its best annual growth in 15 years, with about 3 million Americans finding work in 2014. The report will help guide the Federal Reserve’s deliberations over when to start raising interest rates. The Labor Department reports at 08:30 in Washington." 
  • The Consumer Sentiment index for January compiled by the University of Michigan  increased to 98.1 from the December reading of 93.6. This was the highest level in over ten years, since 2004.  Many feel that this high level of consumer confidence reflects lower gasoline prices.  
  • "The Rasmussen Employment Index  which measures worker confidence slipped a point in January after two months in a row of six-year highs.  At 103.3, worker confidence is down a point from December's 104.2."
  • Job search engine was the contrarian last month, projecting a net gain of only 170,000 job in December.  (They base their projections largely on job openings.)  They were off by about 80,000 jobs.  This month they are a bit more bullish, and more in line with other predictors:
  • "Unfortunately, however, we saw a decline in the number of job openings on LinkUp’s job search engine in November (-12.7%) and December (-2.4%). As a result of those declines, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a downward revision for November and December in tomorrow’s jobs report. And regardless of whether or not that occurs, because of the decline in job openings that we saw in December, we are forecasting a net gain of only 212,000 jobs in January, a weaker number than consensus."  But is projecting a VERY bullish 362,000 new jobs in February.. but we're not there yet, and this cold, snowy first week of February may hold down hiring overall for the month".
  • however does make the following observation:  "In 2014, the U.S. economy added an average of 242,000 jobs each month, a 25% increase over the 194,000 monthly average in 2013." 
  • The last few weeks have had very low numbers of initial unemployment claims, however, there were higher numbers of initial unemployment claims in the early weeks of January.  Hard to say if this will mean anything in terms of job growth in January, as seasonal adjustment factors in the numbers of unemployment claims after the Christmas holiday tend to be volatile.  As a whole, 2014 is on tap to have the lowest number of initial unemployment claims AND layoffs since the late 1990's.  Time will tell if this trend continues in January.
We can only imagine where we'd be in this economic recovery by now if the Republicans actually worked with Obama and the Democrats for the good of the country.

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