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3 Talking Points from the January 2014 Jobs Report

Three takeaways from the August 2013 jobs report.Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and love is in the air — but it looks like jobs are getting the cold shoulder. January’s BLS numbers released this morning painted quite a grim picture of yet another consecutive jobs report with weaker-than-expected numbers.

The U.S. economy added 113,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate ticked down a hair to 6.6 percent. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate rose ever so slightly from 62.8 percent to 63 percent. But before you think that’s a good thing, keep in mind that number is quite a bit lower than a year ago and, according to the Wall Street Journal, “hovers near 35-year lows.”

Where is employment Cupid when you need him?

As you may know, following each month’s jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the Web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.


  1. Not so fast, economists. Today’s jobs report numbers fell short of economists’ expectations. By a lot. AGAIN. Whereas they were expecting the number of jobs U.S. employers added in January to be 185,000, we clocked in at 113,000 — no need to bust out your calculator; that’s a difference of 72,000.
  2. Boo to the bad weather? If you’ve spent at least part of the winter huddled under a blanket in your home, you’re not the only one. By all accounts, this winter has been a particularly brutal one. BUT, can we blame the poor performance of today’s report as well as the past few jobs reports on weather conditions? Reports we read said, “Not so fast.” We can blame Mother Nature for taking a toll on our social lives, but not on the economy.
  3. December was pretty bad after all. Remember how people freaked out as the December 2013 jobs report numbers started coming out? It was an epic fail. Once people picked their jaws off the floor, many were hopeful that eventually those numbers would be revised up quite dramatically. But no, they weren’t — unless you think a jump from 74,000 to 75,000 is worth writing home about.

Don’t miss the jobs report buzz! Follow us on Twitter @CBforEmployers and live tweet with us starting at 8:30 a.m. EST on the first Friday of every month as part of #JobsFriday.

Did you miss the August, SeptemberOctoberNovember and December jobs report breakdown? It’s never too late to catch up on some economy-related reading.

Deanna Hartley

About Deanna Hartley

Deanna Hartley is a senior copywriter and community manager on the creative services team at CareerBuilder, where she writes about issues that are top of mind for employers and recruiters – including talent acquisition, employee engagement and retention. An avid social media user, Deanna is the face behind @CBforEmployers on Twitter as well as CBforEmployers’ Facebook and Instagram pages, so it’s easy to stay connected with her. Prior to joining CareerBuilder, Deanna was a senior editor for the Human Capital Media Group, publishers of Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer, Diversity Executive and Workforce Management magazines. Deanna holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She loves caffeine, social media, pop culture and dogs – though not necessarily in that order.


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