All Sectors Had Job Losses this January


This column produced an article that projected a weak January Jobs Report, or Employment Situation Report. It was projected that we could lose 1 million combined non-seasonally adjusted full-time and part-time jobs. It was projects that we could see a 2% worker contraction. The January Jobs Report revealed that there was a 1.95% contraction in the worker level and that we lost a combined1.271 million non-seasonally adjusted jobs. The seasonal factor used to convert the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) Current Employment Statistics (CES) to the seasonally adjusted (SA) CES data was so skewed that if they had used the seasonal factor from January 2016 the SA CES value would have been reported at 147,000 private sector "jobs" added not the 237,000 reported. If they had used the seasonal factor from 2014 they would have reported a gain of 139,000.


What was ignored elsewhere was that the workforce population dropped by 660,000 workers between December and January. Unemployment spiked by  979,000 workers, non-seasonally adjusted. The drop in jobs was greater than the spike in unemployment so the participation rate should have fallen, as it normally does during the month of January. The reduction in the workforce population meant that the participation rate increased even as we had a net loss of participants of over 300,000 workers. The participation rate was still  62.4% NSA with an unemployment rate increasing to 5.14%. The drop in President Obama's participation rate since taking office has masked the real unemployment problem. The effective unemployment rate is actually between 9.98% and 12.62%. President Obama added fewer participants than President Bush, President Clinton, and President Reagan. Participation matter.


Last month this column published an article that revealed to the first-time reader that there has been a consistent  problem with multiple job sectors having fewer jobs than they had prior to the recession. Five Sectors had fewer Jobs than were present during December 2008.  This has been consistent for months, if not years. Last month this sector column found that five sectors had not returned to December 2008 levels, two sectors were lower than they were during December 2015, and one sector was unchanged from December 2015. This is important because all of the 2016 data was revised with the release of this Jobs Report.


So what happened during January?


Mining and Logging Reported a Decrease to 665.000 jobs. This is Only slightly better than where they were during January 2010, at the depth of the recession. What is interesting in this category is that it had recovered and started expanding. The sector has been contracting the past few years.


Manufacturing Dropped from January 2016 and January 2015 Level. There are 12.258 million people working in manufacturing. This is 1.2 million fewer manufacturing jobs than  January 2008. It is 4.7 million fewer manufacturing jobs than January 2001. We have 5.7 million fewer manufacturing jobs than January of 1989. Is there really any question that manufacturing jobs started to fade after the passage of NAFTA?


Information and Technology Sector Jobs have suffered since January 2001 - it continues. We have fewer information jobs now than we had during January 2016. We have 6,000 more IT jobs than we had last January. The discussion is that we need non-native workers to move here to take IT jobs - Could there be one million or more people who want IT jobs that can't get them right now?


Construction Jobs Are Up from Last Year - Still Down from January 2008. we have 6.417 Million construction jobs right now. This is well below the 7 million plus level seen during the peak of the housing market. The jobs kept growing through 2006, 2007 before trailing off during 2008 and dropping over 2 million jobs by the depth of the recession. If construction is done then we see new home sales, we see retail sales, we see economic growth. If we have economic growth we see housing starts surge and we have more economic growth.


Government jobs are still down.  Government jobs peaked during the month of January at 22.471 million jobs. Now we have 22.096 million jobs. We are up from 2016 and down from 2015.


Every Sector saw a decrease in Jobs from December to January. Last year we saw a similar situation. It happens during January.  Here is what is interesting: as of last month we lost Manufacturing jobs during the course of the year. This month, presto change-o, we gained manufacturing jobs last year.

  • Mining and Logging was revised up 17,000 jobs
  • Construction was revised up 54,000
  • Manufacturing was revised up 65,000
  • Trade and Utilities was revised down 84,000
  • Information was revised up 5,000
  • Financial services was revised through the year and remained unchanged
  • Professional and Business Services were revised down 108,000
  • Education and Health Services were revised down 78,000
  • Hospitality and Leisure were revised up 118,000
  • Government was revised up 72,000
  • Other Jobs was revised down 18,000
  • Net-Net the jobs number was revised up 117,700 jobs (Hospitality and Leisure)


The January Jokes Report was a joke. It was Jarring.  It was bogus. We lost full-time jobs and part-time jobs. Every Sector lost jobs. If it were not for the downward revision to the workforce population level we would have seen participation drop even as unemployment increased from December.  This column will continue to dig into the Jobs Report, even as other news sources are distracted by the Super Bowl, Presidential Cabinet Nominations, or other superfluous things. This column still has to produce articles on the balance of jobs between men and women, the changes in the job situation by age, and the current levels of multiple job holders.


It's the economy.


Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense