Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 113,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.6 percent. … The labor force participation rate edged up to 63.0 percent. … The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +241,000 to +274,000, and the change for December was revised from +74,000 to +75,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December were 34,000 higher than previously reported.
This is not good. “In 2013, employment growth averaged 194,000 per month.”
The weather was bad, but we don’t think that it accounts for the entirety of such bad numbers for December and January.
We think the low pick up in employment and participation is reason enough to postpone future tapering at the Fed. However, these numbers are not the only reason to postpone. Interest rates are down, but housing applications are low and construction will have to follow suit if things don’t pick up more.