The new jobs report is out, and the big number is back in positive territory. Employers added a modest 49,000 jobs in January, though that was in line with expectations of 50,000, reports CNBC. The increase may be "tepid," as the AP describes it, but it also reverses a one-month decline. In December, employers actually shed 227,000 jobs, ending a seven-month streak of gains. The unemployment rate fell from 6.7% to 6.3% in January, but the AP notes that's partly because some out-of-work people stopped looking.
"It's still going to be a pretty tough month for the jobs market, but it looks like the jobs recovery got back on track," Sarah House of Wells Fargo Securities tells the Wall Street Journal. "We're already seeing virus cases come down, we're seeing restrictions lifted, we're seeing the vaccine rollout gather steam." Still, millions of the estimated 22 million people who lost their jobs in March and April remain unemployed. As expected, the hospitality industry continues to be hard hit, with another 61,000 jobs lost in that sector last month, per CNBC. The retail industry also shed 38,000 jobs after a December increase attributed to the holidays. (Read more unemployment stories.)