Friday, February 06, 2009
The Labor Department released the January employment report a short time ago indicating that nonfarm payrolls declined to levels last seen in 1974 and the unemployment rate reached its highest level since 1992.
Payrolls fell by 598,000 in January following declines of 577,000 in December (revised downward from -524,000) and 597,000 in November (revised downward from -584,000).
The unemployment rate rose from 7.2 percent to 7.6 percent, however, when adding in those who are too discouraged to look for work and those who are working part-time instead of full-time, the unemployment rate rose from 13.5 percent to 13.9 percent.
A total of 3.6 million jobs have been lost since the current recession began back in December of 2007, an average of almost a quarter of a million jobs per month.
By category, it was largely the same story that has been playing out over the last year or so with the exception that manufacturing payrolls declined by a whopping 207,000, their largest decline since October 1982.
Net job losses of 121,000 were seen in professional services, 118,000 in trade, transportation, and utilities, and 111,000 in construction. Education and health care added a net 54,000 jobs and government employment increased by just 6,000.
Benchmark revisions to prior data resulted in a net loss of 385,000 jobs during all of 2008.