January Job Growth Exceeds Forecasts

By Tom Burnett, CFA

On February 7, 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the January report on ‘The Employment Situation’. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 225,000, well above the consensus estimates of 165,000 (Bloomberg LP). Total revisions for the previous two months added 7,000 to the job figures. The unemployment rate nudged up to 3.6% from 3.5% as more workers entered the labor force. The rate one year ago was 4.0%.

According to the BLS press release, job gains in construction, health care, transportation and warehousing were the main components of the January 2020 increased employment. Seasonally adjusted figures for the latest month placed total employment at 158.7 million, an increase of 2.1 million from the comparable January 2019 figure.

Tom Burnett CFA is the Director of Research