Payrolls mixed

Jan Payrolls fell by 20k and the prior 2 months were revised down by 5k. The private sector shed 12k and the government lost 8k led by state and local governments. The unemployment rate though fell by .3% to 9.7% because of a 541k gain in the household survey offset somewhat by a 111k rise in the labor force. The all in rate fell to 16.5% from 17.3%. The average duration of unemployment rose to 30.2 weeks from 29.1 and points to the problem of LT unemployment. A bright spot was the 11k job gain in manufacturing as it was the first add since Nov ’07 and follows the improvement we’ve seen in that sector. Also, average weekly hours rose .1 to 33.3, the highest since Feb ’09. Temp added 52k jobs and hopefully will soon lead to permanent hiring. Construction shed 75k and financial services lost 16k. The federal government added 19k ex postal service and was helped out by the census. The B/D model subtracted 427k jobs vs -356k in Jan ’09 and thus was likely more than expected.

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