INDIANA – The January U.S. Jobs Report released today, given the surge of COVID-19-related cases in recent weeks, was “surprisingly strong,” according to Dr. Michael Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University.
“A total of 467,000 new jobs were created, and revisions to November and December added a whopping 700,000 total jobs to the preliminary numbers,” Dr. Hicks said. “The revisions are done annually to update the seasonal adjustment and added jobs for every month since August. This technical adjustment offers a much stronger view of recent economic performance.”
Here are Dr. Hicks’ full takeaways from the January Jobs Report.
COVID did affect labor markets, causing an increase in those working remotely due to the disease.
In January, 15.4 percent of workers were performing their jobs remotely due to COVID.
Overall wage growth slowed in January, to 1.8 percent annualized. While many sectors saw better wage growth, such as manufacturing rose at an annualized 4.5 percent last month, wage growth was beneath inflation.
Most other indicators of employment, from part-time work to marginally attached worker numbers improved in January.
The worst news in this jobs report was of a labor force that did not change, which is much better than expected given the recent pandemic effects of COVID. This unexpected news will make easier efforts by the FED to combat inflation.