Only 45,000 U.S. jobs created in January: TrimTabs

February 2, 2012

Not that the battered U.S. labor market needs anymore bad news, but here it is: A new report that derives employment growth from tax data suggests recent strides have been even meeker than the official Labor Department data suggests.

The January jobs report is due out on Friday, and analysts in a Reuters poll are forecasting the jobless rate remained stuck at 8.5 percent while a median of 150,000 net new positions were created last month, down from 200,000 in December.

Not so fast, say analysts at investment research firm TrimTabs. They cull figures on tax withholding to generate what they say is a more accurate real-time reading of job market conditions. Their findings are grim:

We estimate based on real-time income tax withholdings that the U.S. economy added only 45,000 jobs in January, little changed from the 38,000 jobs added in December. In the past three months, the economy added 49,000 jobs per month, which is not enough to reduce the unemployment rate.

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