Friday, February 06, 2004

Monthly Jobs Report

Good news, as long as we're defining good news as 'not terrible news.' Unemployment down a tick and payrolls are up a tick, though not enough to keep up with general population growth.

Check in with Jobwatch for more details later in the day.

...DeLong has more.

...Reuters has more.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy created just 112,000 new jobs in January, far fewer than expected, government data showed on Friday, in a disappointing report that will weigh on President Bush's re-election campaign.

The fifth straight monthly gain in non-farm payrolls followed a revised increase of 16,000 new jobs in December, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate ticked down to 5.6 percent, the lowest since January 2002, from 5.7 percent the previous month - but those numbers are taken from a separate, smaller, survey.

Analysts had been expecting the improving economy to create 150,000 new jobs in January. They were looking for the unemployment rate to hold steady at 5.7 percent.

Many of the new jobs came from a 76,000 increase in the retail sector. But analysts had said before the report that a seasonal adjustment quirk would be the main reason for such a rise. They said there would be a gain because retailers took on fewer employees than expected in the holiday shopping months, which would mean that according to the seasonal adjustments in the report there would be fewer layoffs in January.

...and, on that news, the dollar plunges...