New jobs report: Employers added 517,000 jobs in January

Dan Li |
Chief Financial Officer | Snagajob + PhD in Economics | Northwestern University

January was a strong month for job growth as employers added a whopping 517,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 3.4%.

Gains were seen across a number of industries, with the leisure and hospitality sector adding 128,000 jobs, compared to the 2022 monthly average of 89,000 jobs.

Overall, hourly jobs are up 56% from February 2020's pre-pandemic numbers.

We’ve rounded up key insights from coverage of this month’s report:

  • Wall Street Journal: “The unemployment rate was 3.4% last month, its lowest level since May 1969. The average workweek rose to its highest level since March 2022, reversing declines in the fourth quarter.”

  • New York Times: “The increase was the largest since July, and it drew exclamations from economists steeped in labor market trends, who had been expecting another month of gradual cooling.”

  • Washington Post: “Although forecasters are still split on whether the United States can avoid an economic recession, they are increasingly optimistic that any downturn would be relatively mild.”

  • Bloomberg: “January’s blockbuster US jobs report is likely to strengthen the Federal Reserve’s determination to raise interest rates above 5% and keep them high throughout the year.”

Hourly Jobs

All industry data is from 3/2/20-1/31/2023

Here are the latest overall job numbers:

Overall hourly jobs are up 56% from February 2020's pre-pandemic numbers, we are seeing a 15% month-over-month drop and a 31% year-over-year drop. 

Here are the latest job numbers by industry and category:

Food & Restaurant jobs are down 5% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 7% month-over-month drop, and a 30% year-over-year decline.

Hotel & Hospitality jobs are down 23% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 3% month-over-month drop, and a 51% year-over-year decline.

Healthcare jobs are up 152% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 19% month-over-month decline, and a 23% year-over-year growth.

Retail jobs are down 10% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 12% month-over-month drop, and a 36% year-over-year decline.

Warehouse & Logistics jobs are up 406% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 12% decline month-over-month, and with a 36% year-over-year drop.

Shifts by Snagajob requested shifts are up 194% compared to pre-pandemic norms. Fill rates are showing a 6% month-over-month gain, and a 19% year-over-year growth.