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New Jobs and Unemployment: January 2024


The 275,000 new jobs for February 2024 is a relatively large amount. 85,000 of the 275,000 new jobs occurred in the jobs sector Private Education & Health category. This is 31% of all new jobs in February even though this category is 15% of all total jobs in the US. The growth in new jobs is disproportional to the size this sector has in the overall job market by a two-to-one ratio. These results are very similar to January's.


When February is annualized, this sector is growing at 4%. In January it was 5% It is rare for any one sector to achieve a growth rate in excess of 3%.


The Health Care sub-sector is the largest part of this category and is associated with hospitals. Turns out this sector of the economy is also experiencing the fastest-growing inflation component in the Consumer Price Index. It is highly likely this jobs sector will not be able to sustain this growth rate, hence the 275,000 job growth will not be sustainable. This spike is about 67,000 jobs, take it out of the 275,000 and we are looking at job growth of 208,000. Still a good total which would reduce inflationary concerns.


Weekly initial unemployment claims remain near 40+ year lows.

  1. Introduction and observations

  2. Net New Jobs Created - recent history

  3. Net New Jobs Created - since 1977 and U.S. Presidents

  4. New Job Total Historical Comparison Using Quartiles

  5. Types of New Jobs: Totals

  6. Types of New Jobs: Growth Rate

  7. Types of New Jobs: Sub-Categories

  8. Types of New Jobs: Sub-Categories Growth Rate

  9. Revisions to Prior Month's Reported Totals

  10. Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Filed

  11. Unemployment Rate


2. New job growth for January 2024 came it at a very robust 353,000. The economy continues to produce jobs at a level that is in the upper level that the Federal Reserve desires in its continued fight against inflation.


3. New job growth for January 2024 came it at 353,000 vs the prior month’s 216,000. This is a relatively high level that was viewed over a long time period.


4. Taking the monthly new jobs from January 1997-March 2017 and ranking them into 4 quartiles, the January 2024 total 353,000 ranks in the highest quartile. Over the past 3 years, 97% of the monthly totals have been in the top 2 quartiles.


5. Private Education & Health are 15% of all jobs in the US and in January they accounted for 32% (see red bar) It is not reasonable to expect that this category can generate twice the amount of new jobs compared to its base total.


6. The top 4 categories account for 64% of the total number of jobs in the US. With 112,000 new jobs on December 7 Private Education and Health Services had the largest number of new jobs. Government jobs came in relatively low at 36,000.


7. The top 4 sectors account for 64% of all jobs. Below are the more detailed listings of the 4 categories. Note that Health Care had the largest number of new jobs in December and January. Separately, according to the Consumer Price Index, health care is experiencing the fastest inflationary rate of growth.


8. During a regular year, job growth of 2% to 3% occurs. Rates above 4% are seldom maintainable. The category Private Education and Health is the 3rd largest category while Information is small.


9. After a month is initially reported, it is subject to revisions over the next 2 months.

NOVEMBER was initially estimated at 199,000 and was revised DOWN in December by 26,000 the final reversion DOWN 2,000 occurred in January. November is now final at 171,000.

DECEMBER’s initial estimate of 216,000 was materially revised UP by 117,000 in January 2024 and will be finalized when February’s data is released on March 12, 2024.


10. Weekly new Unemployment filings continue to be in the low 200,000 range which is a near-record low.


11. The unemployment rate was unchanged in January 2024 at 3.7% which is slightly above the all-time low unemployment rate attained earlier in 2023.


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