January Jobs

Jobs were created in January on net, but not as many as one might have wished for, according to the BLS:

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 146,000 in January and the unemployment rate decreased to 5.2 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Job growth continued in several service-providing industries, while manufacturing employment declined over themonth.

This number is barely enough to keep up with population growth, and was decidedly below expectations. Given yesterday’s weak productivity numbers, one might have thought that more jobs was improving… but apparently not.

Nevertheless, this figure does suggest that the sluggish labor market is not improving, and if anything, may be slowing slightly, as shown in the figure below.

All in all, a disappointing report.