No real surprises in this morning’s jobs report from the Labor Department. The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in January, most, as usual, in the services sector. Unemployment, meanwhile, crept up to 7.9% from 7.8%.
Economists were mostly expecting the numbers. Most estimates earlier in the week averaged out between about 160,000 and 165,000 new jobs. They had predicted December’s 7.8% unemployment rate would be unchanged. A Forbes survey suggested the rate might decrease to 7.7%.
In terms of actual numbers, 12.3 million Americans remain out of work, with 4.7 million of them unemployed for more than six months. Another 8 million are working at part-time jobs because they can’t find full time employment.
The January jobs gain is the smallest since September’s 138,000, but the report did up the jobs numbers for both December and November by a combined 127,000. keep reading…
The U.S. employment picture is looking decidedly brighter at the end of 2012 than it did a year ago. For its final report of the year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the unemployment rate dropped in 45 states in November; nowhere did it rise.
Over the year, only six states showed an increase in unemployment: Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and South Dakota. One — Pennsylvania — had no change. But all 43 other states and the District of Columbia reduced their unemployment during the year. Nevada, which at 10.8% unemployment in November, has the highest rate in the nation, also made the most progress in putting people back to work. The state dropped 2.4 points over the year.
Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 45 states and decreased in five states and the District of Columbia. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+4.7 percent), almost all of it due to the petroleum industry and support industries.
The BLS says over the year, 29 states had significant gains in employment, while only West Virginia lost jobs. (-13,800). The largest over-the-year jobs increase occurred in Texas (+278,800), followed by California (+268,600) and Ohio (+100,400).
This morning’s jobs report from ADP is prompting worries that hiring may be slowing, damping hopes that the anemic recovery may be hitting a rough spot, if not stalling.
ADP, which processes payrolls for some 500,000 U.S. firms, said private employment grew by 133,000 jobs in May. The company, and its analytics partner, Macroeconomic Advisers, also adjusted down by 6,000 its initial 119,000 April job estimate.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News were expecting the May ADP report to show about 150,000 new jobs. Bloomberg also said the expectation is for the official Labor Department report to show 160,000 new jobs during the month. That report is scheduled to be released tomorrow morning.
“While May’s increase was the 28th consecutive monthly advance, it nonetheless reflected a notable slowdown in the recent pace of hiring,” said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers.
Nearly all the new jobs came from the service sector, with small and medium companies in the sector — those with fewer than 500 employees — creating all but 15,000. Manufacturing, which had been growing until April, when it lost 6,000 jobs, lost 2,000 more, according to the ADP report. keep reading…