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January 2023 Jobs Report

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

The US economy showed remarkable growth in January with a surprising addition of 517,000 jobs, far exceeding Wall Street economists’ expectations of 185,000 jobs. This impressive feat is made even more noteworthy by the fact that the unemployment rate dropped to a 53-year low of 3.4%.

Additionally, wages grew 4.4% over the past year in January, higher than expected. This is a positive sign for workers as it shows that their hard work is being recognized and rewarded.  The growth in wages is a significant development in the job market, as it shows that workers are being fairly compensated for their hard work. With a 4.4% increase in wages over the past year in January, workers can expect to see a boost in their purchasing power and overall financial well-being. This, in turn, can drive consumer spending, which is a crucial component of the economy. The growth in wages also indicates that employers are recognizing the value of their workers and are making efforts to retain talent. In a competitive job market, offering competitive salaries and benefits is a crucial aspect of attracting and retaining top talent.

The job gains were widespread across various sectors, with leisure and hospitality leading the way, adding 128,000 jobs. This growth is a positive sign that America is continuing to recover from the Covid pandemic and people are returning to work.

Another sector that saw significant growth was professional and business services, which rose by 82,000 jobs, led by gains in professional, scientific, and technical services. This sector has shown steady growth, averaging 63,000 jobs per month in 2022.  Eric Peters, BGSF Professional Division President said, "Despite a lot of noise the media is producing covering large tech company layoffs, we saw a remarkable increase in jobs in the professional sector in January. Companies are continuing to show commitment to IT initiatives in areas of ERP integration, cloud migration and data security. More organizations are looking to change their personnel costs from a fixed cost to a variable by utilizing contractors and managed service outsourcing. The need for professional services talent is very strong leading into 2023. "

The rental and leasing services sector saw a decrease of 519 jobs. Despite this, the sector is still up year-over-year from January 2022. This downturn is likely due to seasonal factors such as winter weather and holidays and is a trend commonly seen in real estate activity during the first quarter. The construction industry also made substantial contributions to the job market, adding 25,000 jobs in January. The strong construction numbers in January are not only a positive sign for the job market, but they are also a leading indicator for growth in the real estate sector. The increase in construction jobs suggests that there is a demand for new building projects, which can lead to a rise in real estate activity and growth in the housing market. This bodes well for the future of the real estate sector and could have a ripple effect on the overall economy.

"While the slight decline is predictable for this time of year due to the seasonality around individuals moving, we stay ahead of the curve by ramping up our recruitment efforts to prepare for the seasonal upswing we know will be coming in the early Spring." commented Kelly Brown BGSF Real Estate Division President, "The increase in construction jobs will attract candidates with the skill set that our clients prefer for their onsite maintenance roles. We will use this trend to capture a strong candidate base in anticipation of the early spring demand." 

In conclusion, the US job market showed remarkable growth in January, with job gains widespread across various sectors and the unemployment rate reaching a 53-year low. This is a positive sign for the country's economy and a testament to the resilience and hard work of American workers. We can expect to see continued growth in the coming months as the country continues to recover from the pandemic.

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