Where The January Jobs Were

While in recent months, we had documented that job growth was mostly observed in lower, or minimum-wage paying, jobs, in January, when as the BLS earlier reported the US added some 227K jobs, the increase was uniform across virtually all job sectors, with only Government and Transportation and Warehousing jobs declining by 10,000 and 4,000, respectively. All other sectors saw an increase in employees.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Retail jobs rose by 46,000 in January, and by 229,000 in 2016. Three industries added jobs in January--clothing and clothing accessories stores (+18,000), electronics and appliance stores (+8,000), and furniture and home furnishings stores (+6,000). We find this surprising in light of the mass layoff announcements reported by retailers in recent months.
  • Construction jobs rose by 36,000. Residential building added 9,000 jobs over the month, while residential specialty trade contractors added +11,000. Over the past 12 months, the US has added 170,000 jobs.
  • Financial jobs rose by 32,000 jobs in January, with gains in real estate (+10,000), insurance carriers and related activities (+9,000), and credit intermediation and related activities (+9,000). Financial activities added an average of 15,000 jobs per month in 2016.
  • Employment in professional and technical services rose by 23,000, in line with the average monthly gain in 2016. Over the month, job gains occurred in computer systems design and related services (+13,000).
  • Food services and drinking places jobs - i.e., waiters and bartenders - continued to trend up in January (+30,000). This industry added 286,000 jobs over the past 12 months, and continues to
  • Health care jobs added another +18,000 positions, following a gain of 41,000 in December. The industry has added 374,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
  • Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, showed little change over the month.

And visually: