Good News Friday . 02.03.12

A Game Changer?

The labor market started the year on a high note according to this morning’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unlike recent reports where the news was mixed, the January report was strong across the board.

· Employers added 243,000 net new payroll jobs last month. Excluding the loss of 14,000 public sector jobs, the private sector added 257,000. This is the strongest performance since April 2011. Analysts had been expecting 125,000 to 150,000 new jobs.

· The November and December totals were revised higher by a combined 60,000.

· Strength was widespread, led by professional and business services (+70,000), manufacturing (+50,000) and leisure and hospitality (+44,000). Even the moribund construction sector added 21,000 due to unseasonably warm weather across much of the country.

· The unemployment rate fell by 20 basis points to 8.3 percent, the lowest level since February 2009.

· Average hourly earnings for all employees rose 0.2 percent last month, while the average workweek for all employees was unchanged at 34.5 hours.

While it is dangerous to extrapolate from a single month’s worth of data, this morning’s report suggests that the U.S. economy is building momentum despite headwinds to growth, which include a mild recession in the eurozone, a slowdown across much of the globe, rising home foreclosures and public sector layoffs.

Have a great weekend.

Best regards,


Robert Bach

SVP, Chief Economist

Grubb & Ellis


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About CRE Northwest

Specialist in office & investment real estate in Seattle & the Eastside
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