January 2021 Economic Report

The unemployment rate fell 0.4% to 6.3% and 49,000 jobs were added in January. These gains are weak but show improvement in comparison to the 227,000 jobs lost in December 2020. The number of unemployed people dropped from 10.7 million to 10.1 million but is still about 5.7 million higher than the pre-pandemic levels of February 2020.

January 2021 Economic Report

Amtec Tip of the Month

What is it that makes a team member decide to leave one organization in favor of another? Payscale’s survey revealed that there are several reasons:

  • 1. They want higher pay. 25% of respondents said the primary reason they left was for a bigger paycheck. Interestingly, women were 8% less prone than men to leave for more pay, and 6% less likely than men to choose another organization for higher compensation. Of those respondents who had joined a new organization, 16% were mostly attracted to the increased pay for the position and 6% mainly chose the organization for better benefits/perks.
  • 2. They are unhappy at their current organization. 16% said they left due to unhappiness with the organization. Of those surveyed who had changed organizations, 11% were attracted to the workplace culture, 5% wanted to work for a larger organization, and 2% wanted to work for a smaller one!
  • 3. They want to work at an organization more aligned with their values. 14% of those surveyed left because their values were different than their company’s values. Of those respondents who had found a new job, 27% said that the main attraction to their new organization was the opportunity to do more meaningful work.
  • 4. They have other unmet needs or desires. Why do employees leave? Other reasons are the need to relocate, leaving a part-time job for a full-time one, desire for a promotion, or opportunity for a more flexible schedule. Of those surveyed who were now with a different organization, 17% were attracted to their new employer because of increased responsibilities for their role. Not surprisingly, the survey found that women are 11% more likely than men to quit an organization for more flexibility. Previous research shows that women are more likely than men to take time off from their job to take care of a family member.

Employees come in all ages, shapes, and sizes with various needs. They quit one organization and choose another for numerous reasons. Because one size cannot fit all and people experience different seasons, you can’t possibly address all their needs. A reasonable approach, then, is to ask, Who are our target employees? Understanding your company’s values and needs will help you define who you want to attract and retain.

Read more about why employees leave organizations here.

Additional Information

If you’re unable to view our January 2021 Economic Report or would like additional information, read below:

  • The unemployment rate dropped from 6.7% to 6.3% and the number of unemployed persons dropped from 10.7 million to 10.1 million in January. About 5.7 million higher than its February 2020 level.
  • Total employment increased by 49,000 in January after declining by 227,000 in December.
  • Professional and business services added 97,000 jobs.
    • Temporary help services added 81,000 jobs.
    • Management and technical consulting services added 16,000 jobs.
    • Services to buildings and dwellings lost 14,000 jobs.
    • Advertising and related services lost 6,000 jobs.
  • The government added 43,000 jobs.
    • Government education added 85,000 jobs.
  • Information added 16,000 jobs.
  • Wholesale trade added 14,300 jobs.
  • Mining and logging added 9,000 jobs.
  • Financial activities added 8,000 jobs.
  • Other services added 7,000 jobs.
  • Utilities added 600 jobs.
  • Construction lost 3,000 jobs.
  • Education and health services lost 7,000 jobs.
  • Manufacturing lost 10,000 jobs.
  • Transportation and warehousing lost 27,800 jobs.
  • Retail trade lost 37,800 jobs.
  • Leisure and hospitality lost 61,000 jobs.
    • Food Services & Drinking Places lost 19,000 jobs.
    • Amusements, Gambling, and Recreation lost 27,000 jobs.
    • Private Education added 34,000 jobs.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees rose by 6¢ to $29.96.

Note: Data below represents changes from different months.

  • Job openings dropped 1.58% in November to 6.5 million openings.
  • Dow Jones dropped 2.1% in January with a high of 31,235.98 points and a low of 29,856.30 points.
  • Housing starts rose by 5.8% to 1,669,000 in December.
  • Consumer price index rose by 0.4% in December.
  • The federal prime rate remained at 3.25% in January after dropping from 4.25% in March.
  • Retail inventories rose 0.7% in November to $617 billion.
  • Manufacturing hours rose to at an average of 40.4 hours in January.
  • Manufacturing new orders rose by 1.1% to $494 billion in December.

The information for this report was developed using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Yahoo Finance, and FedPrimeRate.com.

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