January was an incredible month for job growth, coming in at 517,000 new Nonfarm payrolls. With the market estimating that that number was going to come in at 187,000, experts are blown away this morning. The U.S. is at the lowest jobless level since May of 1969, so we’re seeing record low unemployment levels. Unemployment dropped slightly to 5.7 million, coming down to 3.4% from the previous month. (December’s number were adjusted later in January to be 3.5-3.6%.) The number of jobs per person didn’t change from the just under two jobs available for unemployed December in November. Transportation and Warehouse openings rose to an impressive 23,000 in December. As the Federal Reserve continues to try and mitigate these inflationary trends with increases to the interest rates, there are still concerns that the labor market is still out of balance. A recession could still possibly be on the horizon, but today’s numbers are making many hopeful that it can be avoided.
December's Job Opening and Turnover Survey
At the end of December, job openings increased to 11 million, and hires marginally increased to 6.2 million, from the 6.1 million in November. The quit rate fell minimally to 4.1 million, and layoffs and discharges changed little from the 1.5 million it was the previous month. As stated above, the Federal Reserve and experts are still very concerned that there is the potential for a recession with these numbers.
There were two sectors that saw an increase in job openings. The largest increases in job openings were in Accommodation and Food Services (with 409,000 jobs added), Retail Trade (134,000 jobs added), and Construction (82,000 jobs added). Meanwhile, Information saw a decrease of 107,000 job openings.
While there was little change in the number of quits (4.1 million) and layoffs/discharges (1.5 million), there was a notable decrease in the number of quits in the Transportation, Warehouse, and Utilities sector of 69,000.
January's Jobs Report
Non-farm payroll grew by 517,000 in January. Unemployment edged downward slightly at 3.4%, as the labor force participation rate increased slightly to 62.4%.
Transportation and Warehousing jobs increased by a whopping 23,000, with 7,000 of those jobs coming from support areas within the industry. Leisure and Hospitality (+128,000) made huge gains in January but are still 495,000 short of their pre-pandemic levels. Most of those gains were in food and drink services. Healthcare (+58,000), Government (+74,000), Construction (+25,000), and Manufacturing (+19,000) also saw gains in January.
The January Jobs Report and the December Job Opening and Turnover Survey are still only showing minor signs of the decrease in inflationary pressures desired by the Federal Reserve, who are still raising interest rates to offset the potential recession.
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Meaghan Goldberg covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone. A Patterson, GA native, after graduating from both Valdosta State University and Middle Tennessee State University, Meaghan joined Lionzone in 2018 as a digital recruitment strategist before becoming the social media manager.