Economy

Huge Revisions Move Unemployment

Chris Lange

The U.S. Department of Labor released the January Employment Situation report Friday morning. Employers across the United States fell behind in hiring in January from December’s revised numbers.

The long and short of the matter was that, while unemployment remained relatively static, the payrolls growth had a blowout in its December revisions. At some point one has to wonder if this could start to alter the Federal Reserve’s rate hike timeline in 2015.

Total nonfarm payrolls totaled 257,000, against a Bloomberg consensus estimate of 230,000. The previous reading for December had a big revision to 329,000 from 252,000 — an additional 77,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate was 5.7%, while the Bloomberg consensus estimate was 5.6%, but the number of unemployed persons was little changed at about 9 million. The largest job growth was seen in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities and manufacturing. Investors and market observers should notice that the unemployment rate is just over the previous month’s 5.6%.

The reading for private sector payrolls came in at 267,000, above the consensus estimate of 229,000, and the previous reading was revised to 320,000 from 240,000 — another 80,000 higher. The average workweek remained flat at 34.6 hours.

ADP released its January private sector payrolls report on Wednesday with a reading of 213,000, which was short of estimates. Bloomberg was calling for a gain of 220,000 and the Wall Street Journal was calling for 240,000.

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