The release of employment data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (link) on February 1 produced an unremarkable gain in jobs of 157,000. But the Big News was that the BLS introduced basic benchmark changes that have affected the entire series I’ve been showing, from 2008 forward. The biggest changes came in 2011 and 2012. All told, 679,000 more jobs were created in the 2008-2012 period, of which changes in 2011 (up 197,000 jobs) and 2012 (up 315,000 jobs) account for most. The patterns shown here earlier, however, have not changed much. All data in the graphics I show have been updated. The biggest change is that 2012 outperformed 2011—rather than producing fewer jobs, as shown in a graphic that follows. First the monthly data presentation:
The chart has been revised slightly so that the whole of 2013 is shown. We’re now into the fourth year of the recovery. As is evident from looking at these revised data, the pattern is the same.
I am also introducing a new graphic which will show actual results for 2007 through 2012 and an annualized projection of likely results for 2013. The formula used here is to average out the sum of actual monthly values and then multiplying that average by 12. This month, with only January results available, the 157,000 gain is divided by 1, yielding 157,000. Times 12 makes for the annualized projection of 1.88 million jobs in 2013—below, at this point, the 2012 results. Herewith that graphic:
With the revised data now in hand, as of January 2013 we have regained 5.452 million of the 8.578 million jobs lost in the Great Recession, 63.6 percent of the total. We’re two-thirds of the way to erasing that recession. Then real employment growth will follow.