No Good News On Employment

The employment news for January was as bad as expected. Here is the summation from the BLS.

 Nonfarm payroll employment fell sharply in January (-598,000) and the unem-
ployment rate rose from 7.2 to 7.6 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of
the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  Payroll employment has declined
by 3.6 million since the start of the recession in December 2007; about one-
half of this decline occurred in the past 3 months.  In January, job losses
were large and widespread across nearly all major industry sectors.

You can get complete details at the site.

For an interesting discussion of the broader measure of unemployment you might want to visit the Wall Street Journal Real Time Economics blog. Here are the headline numbers.

The Labor Department’s official unemployment rate hit 7.6% in January, and its jump from 4.9% a year earlier marks the largest annual increase in the unemployment rate since 1975.

But the government’s broader measure of unemployment hit a more stunning level: 13.9%, up from 13.5% in December.

The figure, which largely accounts for people who have stopped looking for work or can’t find full-time jobs, is the highest since the Labor Department started the data series in 1994. It’s just shy of a discontinued and even broader measure that hit 15% in late 1982, when the official unemployment rate was 10.8%.

Not the best news with which to slide into the weekend.

Update: Here is a link to the Wall Street Journal Real Time Economics blog and its round up of economists reactions to the unemployment numbers.

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