Private-sector job growth

PRIVATE-SECTOR JOB GROWTH…. In the previous post, we talked about the new monthly jobs report, but in keeping with tradition, here’s a slightly different chart — one showing just the private sector job market.

For much of 2010, this was important because of the sharp differences we’ve seen between the private and public sectors. Most notably, the rise and fall of Census Bureau jobs can offer a skewed picture — some months, such as May 2010, look better than they should, because the monthly total is exaggerated by hundreds of thousands of Census jobs. Other months, such as June 2010, are distorted in the other direction, looking worse than they should.

But that period is finished. In January, while the public sector lost 14,000 jobs, the private sector added 50,000 jobs. Given revised data for 2010, this is the 11th consecutive month of private-sector growth.

And while that’s nice, it’s not as nice as more robust job creation — and this isn’t it. The totals for both November and December, however, were revised upwards and appeared at least slightly more encouraging.

All told, the economy added roughly 1.3 million private-sector jobs in 2010. For comparison purposes, note that the economy lost nearly 4.7 million private-sector jobs in 2009, and lost 3.8 million in 2008.

With that in mind, here is a different homemade chart, showing monthly job losses/gains in the private sector since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction — red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.

privatejobs_jan11.jpgNote: the new report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics includes recalculated data for every month in calendar year 2010. This chart reflects the revised data.

Update: There was a slight error in this chart as originally published. It’s been corrected.