Unexpectedly Intriguing!
February 5, 2013

According to the January 2013 Employment Situation Report, the U.S. economy added just 17,000 jobs for individuals Age 16 or older in the month from December 2012 to January 2013. Or more technically, in the month from the week including 12th day of December 2012 to the week including the 12th day of January 2013. (Click the image below for a larger view.)

Change in Number of Employed in U.S. from November 2007 through January 2013

Breaking that change down by age group, we find that the biggest gain in jobs for the month was enjoyed by U.S. teenagers, as individuals Age 16-19 saw their numbers in the U.S. workforce increase by 106,000 to reach a total of 4,508,000.

But you can't have a gain of 106,000 workers between the ages of 16 and 19 and only a net gain of just 17,000 people in the workforce for the month unless a lot of other people exited the workforce. All of those people, it would seem, were young adults between the ages of 20 and 24.

Here, the number of Age 20-24 individuals in the U.S. workforce declined by 99,000 in the month from December 2012 to January 2013, bringing the number of employed young adults in the United States to 13,471,000.

Older adults fared somewhat better, as those Age 25 or older saw their numbers in the U.S. workforce increase by 10,000 to 125,343,000.

Altogether, the total number of employed Americans in January 2013 was 143,322,000. That figure is 3,273,000 less that the peak number of working Americans recorded in November 2007, just one month ahead of the peak of economic expansion that marks the beginning of the so-called "Great Recession".

For all practical purposes, where the U.S. employment situation is concerned, 2013 began the same way that 2012 ended - with the nation's jobs situation effectively stalled out, as there has been no meaningful improvement in the economy since October 2012.

And thus, stagnation dominates the nation's jobs scene.

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