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February 04, 2005

The Employment Report

The BLS reports:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 146,000 in January to 132.6 million, seasonally adjusted. The January increase followed job gains averaging 181,000 per month in 2004. Since reaching a trough in May 2003, payroll employment has risen by 2.7 million. Over the month, there were gains in several service-providing industries including education and health services, transportation and warehousing, and financial activities.

Education and health services continued to add jobs in January, increasing by 35,000. Within the sector, health care employment rose by 15,000 over the month, and was up by 258,000 over the year. Employment in educational services edged up in January and the industry added 86,000 jobs over the year.

In transportation and warehousing, employment increased by 34,000 in January. Since its most recent low in July 2003, employment in this sector has grown by 166,000, with trucking accounting for about a third of the growth. Within transportation and warehousing, employment in the couriers and messengers industry grew by 17,000 in January after a loss of 9,000 in December.

Employment in financial activities rose by 21,000 in January. Both credit intermediation and securities, commodities, and investments contributed to the gain. Over the year, employment in financial activities increased by 159,000, with most of the gain occurring during the last 6 months.

Although employment was flat in January, wholesale trade has added 99,000 jobs since its most recent low in August 2003. Retail trade employment edged up over the month and has expanded by 200,000 since June 2003.

Employment in professional and business services edged up in January. Over the year, the sector gained 537,000 jobs. Within the sector, employment in temporary help services continued to trend up. Employment in architectural and engineering services and in computer systems design had been showing strength in recent months, but was flat in January.

In January, manufacturing employment declined by 25,000, with widespread, though mostly small, losses among its component industries....

Posted by DeLong at February 4, 2005 01:12 PM