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Employment: Party Like It’s 1999!

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As of the October BLS report, the economy has added 2.225 million private sector jobs, and 2.285 million total jobs in 2014.

To be the best year since 1999, the economy needs to add an additional 176 thousand private sector jobs (probably happen in November), and 222 thousand total nonfarm jobs.

Also interesting: For the first time since 2008, the public sector will add jobs in 2014.  State and local governments started adding a few jobs last year, but austerity has been ongoing at the Federal level.  According to the WSJ The Federal Government Now Employs the Fewest People Since 1966

Not since July 1966 has the federal government’s workforce been so small. … But that’s only the raw numbers! As a share of the total workforce … data going back to 1939 would show no point where the federal government’s share of employment was so low.

In the last 75 years (when the BLS started tracking the data), the public sector (non-military) shed jobs in 12 years. Three of those years were at the end of WWII, two in the early ’80s, and the last five consecutive years (unprecedented streak since the Great Depression).

Here is a table of the annual change in total nonfarm and private sector payrolls jobs since 1999.  The last three years have been near the best since 1999 (2005 was the best year for total nonfarm, and 2011 the best for private jobs).

It seems very likely that 2014 will be the best year since 1999 for both total nonfarm and private sector employment.


Change in Payroll Jobs per Year (000s)
  Total, Nonfarm Private
1999 3,177 2,716
2000 1,946 1,682
2001 -1,735 -2,286
2002 -508 -741
2003 105 147
2004 2,033 1,886
2005 2,506 2,320
2006 2,085 1,876
2007 1,140 852
2008 -3,576 -3,756
2009 -5,087 -5,013
2010 1,058 1,277
2011 2,083 2,400
2012 2,236 2,294
2013 2,331 2,365
20141 2,742 2,670
1 2014 is current pace annualized (through October).


Calculated Risk

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