New report shows 2020 off to a strong start on jobs

Ahead of this morning's jobs report, most projections pointed to growth in January in the ballpark of 164,000. It looks like we did quite a bit better than that.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the economy added 225,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate inched a little higher to 3.6%. The revisions from November and December were also revised up a little, adding 7,000 jobs to previous reporting.

Also, once a year the Labor Department publishes what's called "benchmark revisions," releasing a month-by-month tally, updating overall job totals from the previous year. Since today is that day, we now know the economy created 2.096 million jobs in 2019, down slightly from the 2.108 million previously reported.

Ordinarily, at this point I add a few paragraphs about the larger political patterns, but because it takes a while to review the benchmark revisions, that'll have to wait. Check back later for an additional post along those lines.

Above you'll find the chart I run every month, showing monthly changes in total jobs since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction: red columns point to monthly changes under the Bush and Trump administrations, while blue columns point to monthly job changes under the Obama administration.