Private Payroll Rise A Whopping 465,000 And The Unemployment Rate Dips Slightly

The unemployment rate dropped to 6.2% from 6.3% and the number of people with jobs rose by 379,000 according to the BLS.

BLS Jobs Statistics at a Glance

The BLS reports total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 379,000 in January. Private payrolls gained a whopping 465,000.

The Bloomberg Econoday consensus was an increase of 175,000 jobs. ADP estimated a gain of 165,000 private jobs.

Details from the monthly BLS Employment Report.

  • Nonfarm Payroll: +379,000 to 143,048,000 - Establishment Survey
  • Employment: +208,000 to 150,239,000- Household Survey
  • Unemployment: -158,000 to 9,972,000- Household Survey
  • Baseline Unemployment Rate: -0.1 to 6.2% - Household Survey
  • U-6 unemployment: -0.6 to 11.1% - Household Survey
  • Civilian Non-institutional Population: +67,000 to 260,918,000
  • Civilian Labor Force: +50,000 to 160,211,000 - Household Survey
  • Not in Labor Force: -18,000 to 100,708,000 - Household Survey
  • Participation Rate: +0.0 to 61.4% - Household Survey

Initial Reaction

Both jobs and employment rose significantly. 

Significantly, leisure and hospitality jobs rose by 355,000.

However, the BLS reports an increase in employment of 482,000 part-time jobs, and employment was only up by 208,000. 

BLS Error Rate

Since March 2020, household survey interviewers have been instructed to classify employed persons absent from work due to temporary, pandemic-related business closures or cutbacks as unemployed on temporary layoff. As in earlier months, some workers affected by the pandemic who should have been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff were instead misclassified as employed but not at work. However, the share of responses that may have been misclassified was highest in the early months of the pandemic and has been considerably lower in recent months. For March through December, BLS published an estimate of what the unemployment rate might have been had misclassified workers been included among the unemployed. Repeating this same approach, the seasonally adjusted January unemployment rate would have been 05 percentage point higher than reported. However, this represents the upper bound of our estimate of misclassification and probably overstates the size of the misclassification error.

According to usual practice, the data from the household survey are accepted as recorded. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to reclassify survey responses.

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