Here’s where the jobs are for January 2022 — in one chart

Despite an increase in omicron Covid-19 cases, U.S. employers managed to add over 450,000 jobs last month thanks to robust employment at restaurants and bars, retailers and mail and parcel delivery workers.

The leisure and hospitality sector, which has been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, added more than 150,000 jobs in the first month of 2022. The gain represents the latest in a series of strong figures for the sector, which include restaurants, hotels, casinos and theme parks.

Leisure and hospitality have added an average of 196,000 jobs each month over the last 12 months, well ahead of any other industry as it is on its way back from the worst pandemic. But thanks to the widespread corporate closures in 2020, the sector still lacks 1.8 million jobs, or 10.3%, compared to where employment was in February 2020.

Within the sector, restaurants and bars added 108,000 jobs, accommodation added just over 22,000 and entertainment, gambling and recreation venues 20,000.

Retail had healthy job growth in January, when employers added 61,400 to the payroll, the industry’s second-best print over the past 12 months. Health and personal care stores employed 11,300, department stores added about 12,000 and warehouse clubs increased by 16,700.

“The job report blew expectations across the board. The headline figure of 467,000 was several times above expectations, wages skyrocketed, and most importantly, labor force participation increased during a period of Omicron cases,” said Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth. said in an email.

Transport and warehousing also had a strong January with an increase of 54,200 jobs as thousands of couriers and couriers returned to the workforce. Workers picking up and delivering parcels and mail saw employment rise by 21,200 last month, while warehousing and storage facilities added 13,400.

The U.S. economy hired 7,500 truck drivers in January 2022, the third-best month of the last 12 for a subgroup of the U.S. workforce that kept a close eye on the supply chain.

“In January, there was job growth in couriers and couriers (+21,000), warehousing and storage (+13,000), truck transport (+8,000) and air transport (+7,000),” the Ministry of Labor said in a press release. “All four of these component industries have surpassed their employment levels in February 2020, with particularly strong growth in inventory and inventory (+410,000) and couriers and couriers (+236,000).”

January was a strong month for the broad professional and business services sector, which added 86,000 jobs, with decent progress among computer system designers and management consultants.

Many economists said they were pleased to see that the labor force participation rate and employment rates both rose 0.3 percentage points in January. The Ministry of Labor said that the increase in the employment rate was due to a bump in the size of the population in age groups participating in the labor force at high rates.

The average hourly wage rose 0.73% month by month, the fastest cut since December 2020. The average hourly wage rose 5.68% compared to where they were in January 2021, the warmest annual rate since the spring of 2020.

CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed reporting.

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