Unemployment: 9.7%

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Analysts had been looking for 10.0% unemployment, so this 9.7% number looks decent.

Still, nonfarm payrolls were lower by 20,000 this month, compared to the flat number analysts had expected.

However there are some measurement changes that affected the number, so that’s an issue.

And the internals are ugly. Check out how long people are staying unemployed.

Overall, the takeaway is mass confusion.

However, stocks are picking up a bit on the news.

From the BLS:

In January, the number of unemployed persons decreased to 14.8 million,
and the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage point to 9.7 per cent.
(See table A-1.)

In January, unemployment rates for most major worker groups–adult men
(10.0 per cent), teenagers (26.4 per cent), blacks (16.5 per cent), and
Hispanics (12.6 per cent)–showed little change. The jobless rate for adult
women fell to 7.9 per cent, and the rate for whites declined to 8.7 per cent.
The jobless rate for Asians was 8.4 per cent, not seasonally adjusted.
(See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

This release includes new household survey tables with information about
employment and unemployment of veterans, persons with a disability, and the
foreign born. In January, the unemployment rate of veterans from Gulf War
era II (September 2001 to the present) was 12.6 per cent, compared with 10.4
per cent for nonveterans. Persons with a disability had a higher jobless rate
than persons with no disability–15.2 versus 10.4 per cent. In addition, the
labour force participation rate of persons with a disability was 21.8 per cent,
compared with 70.1 per cent for those without a disability. The unemployment
rate for the foreign born was 11.8 per cent, and the rate for the native born
was 10.3 per cent. (The data in these new tables are not seasonally adjusted.)
(See tables A-5, A-6, and A-7.)

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