2/7/2023 – MetroIntelligence by P. DUFFY

MetroIntelligence by P. DUFFY


Job growth soared to 517,000 in January as unemployment rate ticked down to 3.4 percent

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 517,000 in January, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth was widespread, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care. In January, both the labor force participation rate, at 62.4 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.2 percent, were unchanged after removing the effects of the annual adjustments to the population controls. These measures have shown little net change since early 2022 and remain below their pre-pandemic February 2020 levels (63.3 percent and 61.1 percent, respectively).



January manufacturing sector index slips to 47.4 percent as companies adjust to lower new orders

The January Manufacturing PMI® registered 47.4 percent, 1 percentage point lower than the seasonally adjusted 48.4 percent recorded in December. The Manufacturing PMI® figure is the lowest since May 2020, when it registered a seasonally adjusted 43.5 percent.  With softening new order rates over the previous nine months, the January composite index reading reflects companies slowing outputs to better match demand in the first half of 2023 and prepare for growth in the second half of the year.



January service sector index jumps 6 points to 55.2 percent

In January, the Services PMI® registered 55.2 percent, 6 percentage points higher than December’s seasonally adjusted reading of 49.2 percent. The composite index grew in January after contracting in December for the first time since May 2020, when it registered 45.4 percent.  Survey respondents report that business is trending in a positive direction. Employment was unchanged for the month. Some companies still find it difficult to fill open positions, while others are facilitating staff reductions.