The above podcasts are for the January 2018 employment situation.
The podcasts of the January 2018 U.S. employment situation were produced and uploaded on February 2, 2018. And you can read the free newsletter of the current January 2018 employment situation below; in addition, you can sign-up to receive it automatically via e-mail every month!
January 2018 Employment Report
posted February 2, 2017
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The January jobs and employment report incorporated annual revisions so some comparisons to earlier periods may not be possible and other data may appear a little out-of-whack with what was previously reported. January nonfarm jobs increased 200,000, which was an improvement from December's growth of 160,000 but well off the 259,000 growth the economy experienced one year ago in January 2017.
On the other side of the monthly employment situation, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent in January, remaining at its lowest level since 2000. See the Household Survey section below for more detail.
One very interesting development was that the annual revisions to the jobs data lowered the river for Temporary help services so that it never actually made it to 3,000,000 jobs in 2017 and is just below that level in January 2018.
Private-sector jobs were up 196,000 in January, which was better than December's growth of 166,000. A year ago in January 2017, private-sector jobs increased at a much better pace at 252,000 jobs.
The private Goods-producing sector was up 57,000 in January and that was a bit of an improvement from December's growth of 55,000; however it was less than a year ago, in January 2017, it was up 69,000.
Manufacturing added 15,000 jobs in January after increasing by 21,000 in December; a year ago in January 2017, manufacturing was up 18,000.
The Construction sector rose by 36,000 in January that built on a 33,000 increase in December; a year ago in January 2017, it was up 51,000.
Mining and logging was up 6,000 in January after adding only 1,000 in December; a year ago, in January 2017, it was flat.
The private Service-providing sector increased 139,000 jobs in January, which was better than December's growth of 111,000; a year ago in January 2017, it was up 183,000.
The Retail trade sector was up 15,400 jobs in January after it processed 25,600 returns (it declined) in December; in January 2017, it was up 22,400.
The Wholesale trade sector expanded by 9,800 jobs in January after growth of 10,100 in December; a year ago, in January 2017, it was up 5,100 jobs.
The Transportation and warehousing sector growth continued with a gain of 11,100 jobs in January after adding 11,600 in December; however, a year ago in January 2017, it was essentially flat with a decline of only 100 jobs.
Interest was picked up 50 percent in Financial activities with the addition of 9,000 in January after adding 6,000 in December; however a year ago in January 2017, it was up 28,000 jobs.
The Professional and business services sector experienced growth of 23,000 in January that was only slightly less than the 25,000-job growth observed in December
The Education and health services sector
Leisure and hospitality sector, was up 35,000 in January after adding 37,000 in December; a year ago, in January 2017, it was up 53,000.
The total number of Government jobs was up 4,000. In January, the federal government was up 5,000, State government was down 11,000, and Local government was up 10,000.
As stated earlier, the annual revisions, which can actually go back many years, played havoc on the temporary help services data. BLS is now reporting that the sector never exceeded the 3,000,000-job mark, but we estimate it will broach that level very soon, possibly as earlier as next month.
In January, temporary help services grew by only 1,800 jobs to 2,999,400 temporary help services jobs, which works out to less than 0.1 percent sequentially growth and just under a 3.4 percent year-over-year gain. And the annual revisions meant that December's performance moved into the negative column with a loss of 1,500 jobs.
For a chart of temporary help's growth from January 1991 to January 2018 and comparing its trend to total employment, click here.
Temporary help's market share -- that is its portion of all jobs -- incrementally declined in January and now stands at 2.0292 percent compared to December's 2.0308 percent, which was down from November's 2.0340 percent. A year ago, in January 2017, it was 1.9917 percent.
(if the charts are unclear, click on them to open in a browser window)
Recall that last month we pointed out that the annual performance for temporary help services was preliminary and although only the December 2017 data is still preliminary, we now have a better picture. We still can say that temporary help services did much better in 2017 compared to 2016, but just not as good as previous reported. In 2017, this sector experienced 2.1 percent growth, or about 62,000 jobs, over 2016's increase of just 0.4 percent, or about 12,000 jobs.
Here are some specifics regarding January's unemployment rate of 4.1 percent that was sort of unchanged from December. The reason we say "sort of" is because of the annual changes made to the population controls, making month-over-month comparisons are sketchy at best so we will dispense with hard observations and pick up that discussion next month.
The size of the civilian labor force was larger in January than December and there were more employed persons and but also a bit more unemployed persons. But the changes were not very large, so the unemployment rate did not change.
The employment-to-population ratio was unchanged at 60.1 in January and the labor force participation rate was also unchanged at 62.7. And there were slightly more people considered as not the labor force in January.
What is our favorite recession indicator -- the Beveridge Curve -- telling us now?
NEXT EMPLOYMENT REPORT -- FRIDAY,
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