US economy adds 243,000 jobs in January, unemployment at 8.3%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 243,000 in January, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth was widespread in the private sector, with large employment gains in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing. Government employment changed little over the month.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point in January to 8.3 percent; the rate has fallen by 0.8 point since August. The number of unemployed persons declined to 12.8 million in January. (See the note and tables B and C for information about annual population adjustments to the household survey estimates.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.7 percent) and blacks (13.6 percent) declined in January. The unemployment rates for adult women (7.7 percent), teenagers (23.2 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and Hispanics (10.5 percent) were little changed. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

In January, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs fell to 7.3 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 5.5 million and accounted for 42.9 percent of the unemployed.

After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the employment-population ratio (58.5 percent) rose in January, while the civilian labor force participation rate held at 63.7 percent.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 8.2 million, changed little in January. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In January, 2.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.1 million discouraged workers in January, little different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in January had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

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