Friday, February 02, 2007

January Employment Report

My quick read of the just released January employment report is that the main indicators were partly up and partly down. We saw some improvement in payroll jobs (+111,000) with unemployment rates holding steady around 4.6 percent and hours and average weekly earnings slightly down.

January is the month in which the BLS revises its jobs numbers to better match the sample's underlying population drawn from unemployment insurance records. The result in this case is that there were an additional 933,000 payroll jobs at the end of December 2006 than previously estimated. (See the discussion regarding "Table B" in the report.) So combined with the 111,000 net new jobs in January, I expect that most of the news coverage will focus on these "additional 1 million jobs." You are likely to hear the phrase "8.2 million new jobs since August 2003" quite a lot, based on an update to these talking points.

UPDATE: My mistake--the 7.4 million new jobs in the talking points noted above already had the adjustments had already been factored in. Very smart folks.

No comments: