A few stats to know about the US jobs report for January 2020
The latest US jobs report was very strong, with job gains of +225k – way above expectations of +175k – and positive revisions to the prior two months.
Supposedly warm weather was responsible for boosting construction jobs by +44k, but manufacturing jobs fell -12k, the third loss in four months. The unemployment rate crept up 0.1% to 3.6%, but the participation rate jumped up +0.2% to 63.4%, the highest in over six years. Wages were also a shade stronger than expected coming in at 3.1% y/y vs last month’s 3.0%. What’s not to like? Really, it was very good.
Reports from earlier last week also indicated a hot labor market. On Wednesday the ADP employment report went nuclear, far above expectations and the highest in five years. Then on Thursday, weekly jobless claims fell for the 9th time in 11 weeks coming back to near record lows.
Jobless claims had been sending off a strong signal of an impending slowdown since bottoming last April… until the last few weeks that is.