Jobs and Employment

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the January 2009 Employment Situation report. As expected, it was an ugly report. 598,000 jobs were lost in January and the unemployment rate rose from 7.2% to 7.6%. The following is our updated 5-year rolling unemployment rate chart:


Since December 2007, the economy has shed 3.6 million jobs and nearly 1.8 million in the past three months. The following is our updated 5-year rolling nonfarm payrolls chart:


When viewing the trends in employment, we prefer to look at the moving averages. The above chart illustrates that the 3-month moving average is in steep decline, and the 12-month moving average is not far behind. This is the largest 3-month average job loss figure (-590,667 during past three months) since September/October 1945. It is also the fastest 12-month average job loss pace ever recorded (-291,667 during past 12 months) – with BLS data going back to 1/1/1939.

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