January 2013 Unemployment Data

by Jay Pestrichelli on February 1st, 2013

This morning’s report was met with some green shoots of optimism and the pre-market reacted accordingly. For January new jobs were up slightly by 157,000 with positive revisions to November and December of an additional 86,000 and 41,000 respectively. Unemployment, however, increased to 7.9%, up 0.1% from the previous month.
Based on these numbers, jobs increased by 181,000 per month in 2012 and we’re averaging over 200,000 for the last 3 months.  Here are some selected excerpts from the press release this morning:
Employment in retail trade rose by 33,000 in January, compared with an average monthly gain of 20,000 in 2012.
In January, employment in construction increased by 28,000. Nearly all of the job growth occurred in specialty trade contractors (+26,000), Since reaching a low in January 2011, construction employment has grown by 296,000, with one-third of the gain occurring in the last 4 months. However, the January 2013 level of construction employment remained about 2 million below its previous peak level in April 2006.
Health care continued to add jobs in January (+23,000). Over the year, health care employment has increased by 320,000.
Employment increased in wholesale trade (+15,000) in January. Since the recent low point in May 2010, wholesale trade has added 291,000 jobs.
Employment edged down in transportation and warehousing in January (-14,000).
Manufacturing employment was essentially unchanged in January and has changed little, on net, since July 2012.
For the full report click here: The Unemployment Situation—January 2013
The report paints a pretty rosy picture. Add to that, the uptick in the unemployment rate isn’t going to give the Fed any reason so hold back on QE, and we should see this morning’s data provide for an up day in the equity markets. 

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