Foodservice Equipment Reports

Jobs Growth Remains Sluggish In January, But 2013 Stats Revised Up

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy created only 113,000 net new non-farm payroll jobs in January, the second straight month of slow gains, following December’s revised figure of 75,000. Still, many economists are discounting the slowdown—jobs growth averaged a revised 193,500 jobs a month in 2013—blaming the inclement winter weather among other factors. The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.6%. It has decreased by 0.6 point since October ’13, but many analysts note this is partially the result of historically low workforce participation.

The BLS also issued its annual revision of jobs growth month-by-month in the Feb. 7 release on January employment and reported 137,000 more payroll jobs were created last year than previously announced. The total net new jobs created in ’13 add up to 2.332 million, the best year since the start of the Great Recession.

Goods-producing jobs sectors added 76,000 jobs, including 48,000 new construction jobs, surprising given the severe winter weather in January in large swaths of the country. Manufacturing added 21,000 jobs.

Leisure and hospitality jobs growth continued positive, though slower than the 12-month average, with 24,000 jobs added in January.

The drags on jobs growth came from retail trade, off 12,900 jobs; education and healthcare, down 6,000; and especially government, which shed 29,000 jobs, including 12,000 at the federal level, as the U.S. Postal Service shed 9,000 employees.

With the brutal winter weather continuing into February, we can probably expect another month of slow jobs growth before growth accelerates into the spring.

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