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Strong Job-Creation Pace Continues, Adding 1 Million in Last 3 Months

| February 6, 2015

The economy ended 2014 with 3.12 million new jobs, the best showing since the economy added just 61,000 more jobs that that total in 1999. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The economy ended 2014 with 3.12 million new jobs, the best showing since the economy added just 61,000 more jobs that that total in 1999. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The U.S. economy added 257,000 jobs in January, continuing a job-creation pace not seen since 1999, when the economy added 3.18 million jobs overall, barely more than the 3.12 million added in 2014. November and December job creation was revised upward by 147,000 jobs, with November ending at 423,000 new jobs, the best single-month gain since February 1996, under Bill Clinton, when the economy added 431,000 jobs.


Job creation for all of 2014 was revised upward by 166,000.

The unemployment rate in January ticked up to 5.7 percent, from 5.6 percent, but it did so only because of a surge in people joining the labor force–703,000 in January alone. That’s a good sign as it suggests confidence in the economy, with many workers who’d given up previously now deciding to give job-searching another try, though in December, an almost equal number had dropped out of the labor force. The labor force participation rate ticked up two decimal points, to 62.9 percent. The participation rate has been falling since the Great Recession, when it hovered above 66 percent for several years. It appears to have stopped its decline, but it isn’t expected to rise significantly over the next decade as baby boomers retire in droves, swelling the ranks of the non-working population.

Flagler County is an example of the phenomenon: largely a retirement community, the labor force participation rate locally–that is, the proportion of people 16 and over who are in the labor force–is under 45 percent, while the labor force overall represents just 35 percent of the local population. In other words, nearly 65,000 residents of Flagler County are under 16, retired, have dropped out of the labor force altogether, or choose not to be in the labor force (like stay-at-home parents, for example).

But wages in the nation continue to lag. While average hourly earnings went up by 12 cents in January, a strong showing, the increase merely erased a decline of 5 cents in December, and continues a trend that has not produce significant wage increases to overcome the cost of inflation: over the year, wages went up just 2.2 percent.

The number of people employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged in January at 6.8 million. These individuals would have preferred full-time employment and were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. When the involuntary part-time workers and discouraged workers are considered among the unemployment and under-employment numbers, that alternative unemployment rate (also known as U-6) stands at 11.3 percent. But the U-6 rate, too, has shown strong improvement, dropping from 13.5 percent a year ago. In Florida, it remains at 12.8 percent, among the higher rates in the states.

Some highlights: Employment in retail trade rose by 46,000 in January, construction added 39,000, health care 38,000, financial activities 26,000, manufacturing 22,000, professional and technical services 33,000, food services and bars 35,000.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers increased to 18.8 percent, while the jobless rates for adult men (5.3 percent), adult women (5.1 percent), whites (4.9 percent), blacks (10.3 percent), Asians (4.0 percent), and Hispanics (6.7 percent) showed little or no change.

Historically–and improbably–Jimmy Carter’s presidency remains the only one to have seen single-year job creation approach 4 million: it exceeded it in 1978, and fell short in 1977, the two best year on record for annual job creation in the nation’s history, exceeding even the two years immediately after the nation’s entry in World War II, when the economy added about 3.6 million jobs in 1942 and 1943. But the labor force back then was significantly smaller, so the proportion of the gain was far larger. The Obama years have a way to go before approaching the Clinton or Reagan years in total job creation, though neither Reagan nor Clinton contended with a recession as deep as the one Obama inherited.

Unemployment Highlights Report (2015)

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5 Responses for “Strong Job-Creation Pace Continues, Adding 1 Million in Last 3 Months”

  1. Obama 2015 says:

    But 3.5 million jobs lost in the last six months of the Bush administration in 2009. That dam Obama ruining our country.

  2. David S. says:

    I would really like to know how many people within the last couple of years have thrown in the towel and have given up looking for a job.

    • Obama 2015 says:

      Since 2005 62% to 66% of the country has a job. But more people are staying the work force because they lost their savings in their homes and stocks in 2008.

      http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000/

    • Schottey says:

      The stat is in the third paragraph…

      “The unemployment rate in January ticked up to 5.7 percent, from 5.6 percent, but it did so only because of a surge in people joining the labor force–703,000 in January alone. That’s a good sign as it suggests confidence in the economy, with many workers who’d given up previously now deciding to give job-searching another try, though in December, an almost equal number had dropped out of the labor force. The labor force participation rate ticked up two decimal points, to 62.9 percent. The participation rate has been falling since the Great Recession, when it hovered above 66 percent for several years. It appears to have stopped its decline, but it isn’t expected to rise significantly over the next decade as baby boomers retire in droves, swelling the ranks of the non-working population.”

  3. confidential says:

    Not around this neighborhood!!
    Same beans cooking allover as the rich get richer, the middle class is undermined and the poor (lets do not even imagine their miseries). Here the Gop and overseas the Tori:

    Nothing quite says, “Austerity, we’re all in it together” like a Tory fundraising dinner where multi-millionaires bid hundreds of thousands of pounds for skiing holidays and evenings with Boris Johnson.
    The Conservative Party, plumbing new depths of insensitivity and sheer bare-faced gall, did just that at last night’s Black and White fundraising gala.

    The event, held at the five-star Grosvenor Hotel in Mayfair, was attended by the Prime Minister and dozens of Conservative donors who reportedly paid up to £15,000 for a table, at which they were able to bid for lots such as a beach holiday in Barbados or dinner with Michael Gove.

    READ MORE
    WHAT TORY DONORS BID FOR AT THE PARTY’S FUNDRAISER

    The guests, who included Lycamobile founder Subaskaran Allirajah and lapdancing club owner Peter Stringfellow, reportedly paid sums up to £220,000 for a week-long stay in a 17th century fortress in Spain and £210,000 for a bronze statue of Margaret Thatcher. But they were seemingly unfazed by the earth-shattering scale of the hypocrisy involved in the event during a time of supposed austerity.

    When asked the obvious question about the “A-word”, as Tory party donors like to call it, one guest told journalists: ““At the end of the day, it’s businesses who are going to get the economy back on its feet. That’s where all the money comes from for the NHS, for schools, for education. The money comes from taxes and taxes are paid by businesses.” This is a statement which, given the recent headlines about corporate tax evasion, was about as well-timed as when the guy in Jaws 2 said he was pretty sure it was safe to go back in the water.

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