On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for January. The consensus is for 185,000 jobs added, and for the unemployment rate to increase to 3.6%.
There were 223,000 jobs added in December, and the unemployment rate was at 3.5%.
• First, as of December there were 1.24 million more jobs than in February 2020 (the month before the pandemic).
This graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms. As of August 2022, the total number of jobs had returned.
• ADP Report: The ADP employment report showed 106,000 private sector jobs were added in January. This suggests job gains below consensus expectations. ADP chief economist Nela Richardson noted: “In January, we saw the impact of weather-related disruptions on employment during our reference week. Hiring was stronger during other weeks of the month, in line with the strength we saw late last year.”
• ISM Surveys: Note that the ISM indexes are diffusion indexes based on the number of firms hiring (not the number of hires). The ISM® manufacturing employment index decreased in January to 50.6%, down from 50.8% last month. This would suggest the number of manufacturing jobs was mostly unchanged in January.
The ISM® services employment index for January has not been released yet.
• Unemployment Claims: The weekly claims report showed a decrease in the number of initial unemployment claims during the reference week (includes the 12th of the month) from 216,000 in December to 192,000 in January. This would usually suggest fewer layoffs in January than in December. In general, weekly claims were below expectations in January.