Ed Dolan's Econ Blog

Revisions Push Private Payroll Job Gains to Levels Not Seen Since Dot.Com Boom

Strong upward revisions reported yesterday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics pushed US payroll job gains to levels not seen since the boom of the 1990s. According to preliminary data, the economy added 257,000 total payroll jobs in January 2015. The report revised gains for November upward from 353,000 to 423,000 and those from December from 252,000 to 329,000.

The government sector lost 10,000 jobs in January. The government sector had added jobs in November and December, but over the year since January 2014, government jobs were down by 17,000. All levels of government shed jobs in January, but the federal government showed the largest losses. All told, the government sector has lost 688,000 jobs, including a net loss of 55,000 at the federal level, since the inauguration of President Barak Obama six years ago, contrary to his opponents’ idea that his administration would give rise to an “explosive growth of government jobs.”

Meanwhile, private sector jobs have boomed. As the next chart shows, the economy added 3,127,000 private payroll jobs between January 2014 and January 2015. That easily eclipsed the peak rate of job creation during the housing bubble of the early 2000’s, and was the strongest 12-month showing since 1997, at the height of the boom.

Elsewhere in the report, there were few surprises. Wages were up and the labor force added more than a million workers, reversing December losses with room to spare. Both the narrow and broad unemployment rates rose by a tenth of a percentage point, leaving them still near their lows for the recovery. The percentage of unemployed workers who were without a job for more than 27 weeks decreased, as did the average duration of unemployment. However, the number of long-term unemployed remains high by historical standards.
Follow this link to view or download a slideshow with additional charts of the latest US employment situation


5 Responses to “Revisions Push Private Payroll Job Gains to Levels Not Seen Since Dot.Com Boom”

windrivenFebruary 9th, 2015 at 10:54 am

Gallup has recently made the claim that ~13 million jobs were lost in the recession. Have those jobs been recovered?

I ask this not confrontationally but to try to understand the true unemployment picture. It is clear that the employment situation is improving. But it is very difficult to understand how much is sub-optimal employment, how much is 'stripped down' employment, and how many of those who have left the workforce would return and under what conditions.

We have a long way to go to bring real wages in line with productivity growth in the last 40 years. Capital has captured substantially all of the benefit of those productivity gains while labor has done barely better than tread water.

pgdolanMarch 2nd, 2015 at 4:29 am

Dear Ed,

„Germany´s unrepentant austerity manta and the ill-tempered policy imposed on impoverished and unbearably indebted EU member countries will continue to create problems for one-fifth of U.S. exports.
The Euro area continues to remain the proverbial black hole of the world economy.”

Statements that piss me off as a German-American in Frankfurt from CNBC penned by Michael Ivanovitch today under the title “Don´t bet against the US economy.”

Austerity mean any country living within its budget, i.e. not a slave to Keynes. Unrepentant austerity means merciless, unforgiving budgetary discipline.

Germany´s national budget is about 310 Bn. Euro and they spend about 70% of it on social welfare and care. For the first time in 40 years they came out without accruing new debt by balancing the budget in 2014.
With unemployment at 6.5% and a record number of employed people at 43 million (population is ca. 78 million), Germany is a model for any country.

Ivanovich is one of those who would tear down a top performance.

I hate it.