Hey, Look At The 467,000 New Jobs In January! Thanks A Lot, Biden!
Photo by 'Old White Truck,' 2017. Creative Commons license 2.0. We like the giant wiener dog.

The monthly jobs report for January showed much stronger job growth than expected, with nonfarm payrolls up by 467,000 jobs, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The big gain was far better than the Dow Jones forecast of just 150,000 anticipated jobs.

With more people starting to look for work again, the unemployment rate edged up a smidge, to 4 percent, from December's 3.9 percent, so expect Fox News to ignore the total increase in jobs and yell "UNEMPLOYMENT RISES IN BIDEN'S FAILED ECONOMY."

CNBC anchor Excitable McWhiteguy seemed pretty darn thrilled by the numbers, as was cohost Baldy O'Glasses:

McWhiteguy: We now have data poppin' up for the January employment report! And it is much better than expected! 467,000 — multiples of what we were expecting —

O'Glasses: Somebody correct me if I'm wrong here, because I have never seen anything like this, but it looks like they revised up December [2021] , and I would like people to go back and play the tape when I did not believe the weak December number. It's 510,000 now, it was 199,000, so it's just a remarkable —

McWhiteguy: (VERY excited babble about revisions to prior months)

And well might he babble excitedly, since today's report also included revisions to the job gains for November and December of 2021: Where the initial December report had only 199,000 new jobs (far short of the forecast 422,000), the revised number was way better than the forecast: 510,000 jobs. In addition, the November report was revised upward even more sharply, to 647,000 instead of the initial November report of 249,000.

Yep, that's 709,000 more jobs than initially reported, more than double the initial estimates. Remember how similar revisions happened earlier in 2021, too? Summer jobs reports missed about 600,000 jobs over four months, largely because it appears employers reported a lot of new jobs too late for the monthly report. So yes, we're looking at an even larger upwards revision for just two months at the end of the year.

Read More: Bureau Of Labor Statistics Had One Job. Is That Job One Or 19 Jobs?

As we've explained before, that's not so surprising in our crazy pandemic economy. There are lots of big swings in hiring (and in reporting new jobs to BLS) that you just wouldn't see in the non-COVID Before Times, so any one monthly report should be taken with a grain of salt. (A reverse version of those revisions happened in the early days of the pandemic, when job numbers had to be adjusted down sharply, even as Donald Trump was claiming employment numbers were simply wonderful.)

The same probably goes for the January numbers: We could find out in a month or two that the report was off by a lot in either direction — it could be that actual gains were smaller because the Omicron wave led to lower totals, or we might find out that the real jobs gains were a lot better. That's the way it is when you apply a tool designed for normal times to Very Weird Times.

Even so, we felt some pleasant schadenfreude seeing this dumb tweet from yesterday, in which former Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer seemed absolutely certain the January numbers would be a Big Black Eye for Joe Biden, predicting that "the White House spin on tomorrow's jobs report will be fun."

Say, here's Joe Biden in the White House this morning, spinning the numbers positively because they're pretty freaking positive!


In conclusion, we're looking forward to hearing Fox News tell us more more about how the shelves are empty and nobody will get their Christmas gifts.

[Bureau of Labor Statistics / WaPo / CNBC / Photo: "Old White Truck," Creative Commons License 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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