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  • Writer's pictureNick Andriacchi

January Jobs Summary - Look Past The Headline Number!

Updated: Feb 10, 2021


· Temporary help gained 80,900 jobs in December. The monthly winning streak extends to 9 and the penetration rate of total non-farm employment is 1.90%, close to its pre-COVID level of 1.93%.


· Around 406,000 people left the labor force last month, according to the January jobs report issued Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 4 million have left since the pandemic started. These individuals are not counted as unemployed as they are not actively looking for work.


· This dynamic may be due to childcare duties, fear of getting Covid in the workplace and other reasons.



Analysis of the January Employment Report


Prime age labor force participation rate (ages 25-54) was up this month by .1% to 81.1%. While the number has improved since April, it is still down by 1.9% year-over-year,


The overall labor force participation edged down to 61.4%. This is 1.9% below last February level.


Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 6 cents to $29.96.


The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was up .3 to 35 hours in January. In manufacturing, the workweek was up .3 to 40.4 hours, and overtime unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.2 hours.


Among those not in the labor force in January, 4.7 million persons were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic.


JOLTS Report February 9, 2021


Job Openings


On the last business day of December, the number and rate of job openings were little changed at 6.6 million and 4.5 percent, respectively. BIG INCREASES in Information, Durable Goods, Retail & especially Business and Professional Services which Temporary Help is sub-category. This data suggests and confirms what staffers have been saying, they have more open job orders than candidates.


Hires


In December, the number of hires decreased to 5.5 million (-396,000), and the hires rate decreased to 3.9 percent. Hires increased in a number of industries with the largest increases in wholesale trade, nondurable goods manufacturing, and durable goods manufacturing.

Separations


Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.

In December, the number of total separations was little changed at 5.5 million, and the total separations rate was little changed at 3.8 percent.


APD reported that 174,000 jobs were created in January


Source: ADP, BLS


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