Friday, February 3, 2012

Employment Update: January 2012

Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today (link) show that the economy gained 243,000 jobs in January. In further good news, the December numbers were also updated, adding another 3,000 jobs. The year is off to a good start:

Job gains a year ago were 196,000, so we’re a little better this year. And December 2011 values (203,000) compare favorably with December 2010 (152,000 gain). We have now regained 35.6 percent of the jobs lost in  the 2008-2009 period—breaking the 30 percent barrier for the first time. One third of jobs recovered as we begin the third year of recovery. Slow as molasses, but the trend is good. Tomorrow I’ll bring results by sector.


  1. Noticed the number of workforce "dropouts", or A-16 jumped ~1.5 million.

    Strange it would shoot up so fast despite the recent gains in job growth.

    Perhaps a number of people have realized their particular job skills are no longer needed in the economy and are either retiring early, or retraining/re-schooling.

    1. Yes. An odd jump. Signs of "growing confidence" seemed to appear March through July of last year, then again back to the doldrums--with a big jump this January. Or was the BLS just making one of it's never-heralded "adjustments"?

  2. To quote Twain:

    Lies, damn lies, and statistics.