The Employment Situation report was released today. The consensus range was 170K to 215K. The actual number for January came in at 151K. The unemployment rate fell 1 tenth to 4.9 percent while the participation rate rose 1 tenth to 62.7 percent. This combination suggests that more people are getting jobs and more people are coming into the workforce. Although we need several months to confirm this positive trend.

Manufacturing may have bottomed. Manufacturing hours rose in the month while payrolls jumped 29,000 for the best showing since November 2014. Retail trade, up 58,000, also posted its best gain since November 2014. Transportation & warehousing, in a sign of strength for the supply chain, rose 45,000 for the strongest showing since December 2012.

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