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Good News in a Bad Employment Report

Good News in a Bad Employment Report

The annual employment revision makes a good employment report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics completed its annual revision of previous payroll estimates, and this showed that the region had experienced a stronger recovery in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2012 than initial estimates had indicated. The revised employment estimate for December 2012 was 753,700, which was 4,700 positions higher than previous estimates. Those 4,700 positions represent a very positive and significant revision, as they amount to 76% of an average year’s growth.

The January employment release makes for bad news

Seasonally adjusted payrolls declined by 1,300 in January 2013 to a total of 752,400. While this was not a large decline, it did end six consecutive months of growth, which was the longest expansion in regional employment since July 2007. This single month of decline generates concern, as the impact of the sequester looms over the region.

Seasonally Adjusted Payrolls in Hampton Roads

The recession and the recovery: HR and the U.S.

In February of 2010, regional employment had declined by 6.2% from peak employment in July of 2007. National employment realized a similar decline over a different timeframe; national employment declined 6.3% in February of 2010 from peak employment in January of 2008. For the past 3 years the nation has been experiencing a recovery in employment, while Hampton Roads has only recently begun to realize a sustained trend toward recovery. It is evident that the U.S. had a shorter recession and faster recovery than Hampton Roads experienced, despite the U.S. not having fully recovered.  

Indexed Employment-Seasonally Adjusted Peak Employment