Expectations for job creation were pretty close to perfect according to the new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the economy adding 157,000 jobs in January. The big news, however, is in the revisions.
First, let's note the basics. The unemployment rate was effectively unchanged at 7.9%, and as is often the case, austerity measures undermined the employment landscape -- while America's private sector added 166,000 jobs in December, the public sector lost 9,000 jobs. Indeed, over the last three months, the nation's private sector added 624,000 jobs, while 24,000 government jobs were lost.
It'd be easy for Washington to improve the latter number and lower the unemployment rate, but congressional Republicans won't allow it.
Regardless, today is the day the BLS publishes its revisions for all of 2012, and that's where we see the genuinely good news. Not only were the job totals for November and December revised up considerably -- 127,000 jobs combined -- but for the entire 2012 calendar year, we learned this morning of an additional 335,000 jobs that had not been previously reported.
That means 2.17 million jobs were created just last year, which is the best annual total since 2005, and tops seven of the eight years Bush/Cheney was in office. [Update: You'll want to check this out.]
Above you'll find the chart I run on the first Friday of every month, showing monthly job losses since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction -- red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.
Update: Here's another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.