January was a bit cooler than expected — and we’re not talking about the weather. The latest BLS jobs report, which was released this morning, came in short of expectations following a strong close to 2015.
— CareerBuilder (@CBforEmployers) February 5, 2016
As you may know, following each month’s BLS 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.
Here’s the News You Can Use From Today’s Release:
1. Slow start to 2016. U.S. payrolls increased by 151,000 in the first month of 2016, which came in well below the 190,000 or more jobs that economists were expecting. Also, compare that to the 262,000 jobs added in December. The unemployment rate dropped to a number we haven’t seen in eight years.
The unemployment rate is now 4.9% — the lowest it’s been since February 2008.
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) February 5, 2016
2. Will the “weak” jobs report have broader repercussions? Here are some initial reactions to today’s report from around the web.
According to USA Today:
Stocks were lower in morning trading Friday after the release of a weak January jobs report, a key data point that shows a downshift in the U.S. economy amid global economic turbulence and which adds further uncertainty to Federal Reserve interest rate policy.
According to Reuters:
The dollar rose against a basket of currencies on Friday along with Treasury yields, but global stocks fell after a key U.S. jobs report painted a mixed picture of the labor market and left investors with a muddled view on rate hike prospects.
According to CNBC:
The job market has been a pillar of strength for the U.S. economy and a key reason that the Federal Reserve was able to hike interest rates, so January’s employment report has become even more critical amid new signs the economy has hit a soft patch.
3. An update on wages. We’ve been talking about wages remaining stagnant for months, but the bright spot in the January jobs report was wages.
— Tom Perez (@LaborSec) February 5, 2016
And as The New York Times pointed out:
The American economy’s jobs machine cooled in January, but still performed well enough to push unemployment to an eight-year low and deliver some much-needed wage gains for ordinary workers.