Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Employment Update: January 2015

At this time of the year, labor force numbers are presented, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in fully revised form—with the revisions reaching years back in time. This year’s revision do not change the overall pattern of developments except in one regard. Numbers for 2014 have been revised upward significantly. In my last report I showed job gains for 2014 at 2.96 million; the revised numbers lift the year to 3.12 million. Since 2014 was better than initially reported, total job losses of 8.7 million (not changed) were recovered earlier (by December 2013) than earlier reported (by May 2014). It took us four years to recover all of the jobs lost in 2008 and 2009.

Job gains in January 2015 were 257,000, below the (revised) 329,000 (versus last month’s report of 252,000). Therefore the projected annual results for 2015 are presently lower than the actual 2014 results, but it’s early days yet. The January figure this year is better than in all earlier years, except 2012, since the Great Recession.

Herewith the two charts I usually show—month by month and then annualized. In the second chart, the 2015 figure is a projection.

Since the economy has, since the end of 2013, almost entirely caught up with job gains needed to support population growth as well (about 80 percent), the motivation for this series is beginning to fade. We are recovering. But it took a long time.


  1. "... the motivation for this series is beginning to fade."

    Nonsense! The motivation for this series is to provide me with monthly employment figures in a handy graph!

    It's also incidentally an ongoing graphic reminder of how truly, truly awful that 2008-09 economic disaster was.

    1. Message received. But I do need more ROOM to present this stuff on a monthly basis... More square inches, please...