The economy is “back in growth mode,” according to Zonda chief economist Ali Wolf; while January’s 49,000-job gain is not terribly high, it presents a return to positive growth after December’s job losses. Total employment is still down 10 million jobs from its previous high in February 2020. “The total numbers haven’t budged that much,” Wolf says, “But we know and are obviously enthusiastic about what the rest of this year starts to look like.” Approximately 4 million of these jobs lost were in leisure and hospitality, though Wolf emphasizes the losses are spread across all sectors.

Approximately 50% of the jobs lost are concentrated in households with incomes under $50,000. About one-third are concentrated in income levels between $50,000 and $99,999, and one-quarter are in income levels above $100,000.

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