Job Market Surges in January - Modern Distribution Management

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Job Market Surges in January

With significant upward revision in November and December, hundreds of thousands of more jobs were created than economists initially expected.
Workers In Warehouse Preparing Goods For Dispatch

The U.S. economy created 467,000 jobs in January, according to new Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, beating economists’ expectations. Employers added 647,000 jobs in November, topping the 249,000 the Labor Department had estimated; employers also added 510,000 jobs in December, ahead of the 199,000 initially forecast. This means heading into 2022, more than 700,000 jobs not originally estimated were added, fueling a turbocharged labor market.

The American job market was strong throughout 2021, adding nearly 7 million jobs over the past 12 months. This is happening despite the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the affliction of the omicron variant recently. The unemployment rate in January ticked up slightly, from 3.9% to 4%.

Average hourly earnings for U.S. workers increased by 23 cents on the month to $31.63, up 5.7% over the last year. This was the largest monthly increase in the past year, according to BLS data.

These data were collected during a shockwave to the economy. Nine million workers were out sick around the time the BLS survey was conducted, with some of them counted as unemployed based on the way the survey was comprised.

Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones predicted an average of about 150,000 jobs added for the month, in what would be the lowest amount added in a year. Some economists even predicted a contraction in the U.S. labor market, with potentially up to 400,000 jobs lost. This makes the job gains more startling in a traditionally weak month when retailers and other industries shed jobs.

In December, 4.3 million people left or changed their jobs — an amount that declined from an all-time high in November but was still at an elevated level. U.S. employers still say there are near record numbers of job openings, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting 10.9 million openings last month.

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