The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the January jobs report Friday morning, revealing for the first time in 2014 what the New Year has brought the economy in terms of the job market. How it reflects the market as a whole depends on how the numbers are taken into account.
Overall, a total of 113,000 jobs were added in January, according to the BLS report. Although this number is short of the predicted 180,000, the numbers are much more appetizing than the 74,000 jobs added in December.
A deeper look into the statistics reveals that the unemployment rate dropped from 6.7 percent to 6.6 percent. This drop is normally attributed more to workers dropping out of the job search as opposed to jobs being filled, but that is not the case this January. The labor participation rate rose from 62.8 percent to 63.0 percent, its first increase in several months.
In the January jobs report, the manufacturing sector saw 21,000 jobs added to the market – a heavy increase from the 8,000 jobs added in December of 2013. For a deeper look at these numbers, check out our Omni One website.
The major sectors in IT saw a net loss of about 3,700 jobs. This drop was heavily concentrated in telecommunications, where 10,200 jobs were reported lost in January. Every other sector in the industry saw remarkably strong gains over the December report. For a deeper look at these numbers, check out our Ashley Ellis website.
In total, the accounting and bookkeeping services sector saw an increase of 5,000 jobs in January. This increase is a boon considering the hit that the sector took last December. Read the full BLS report.
What to look forward to
January is forever known as the month of job hunting and hiring, and the monthly jobs report released by the BLS tends to reflect just that. Many companies end their year with big sales over the holiday season, and after their budgets are set for the year, the hiring commences.
The upward tick in the labor participation rate is the most inspiring number that can be pulled from the report, as it shows that more Americans entered the workforce than dropped out in the first month of 2014. Although 2013 was a rather lackluster year for job growth, if the economy continues in this direction, 2014 looks to be a year of much stronger growth.
By Kevin Withers