Jobs number disappoints, headline rate drops to 6.6%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 113,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.6%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment grew in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and mining.

Household Survey Data

Both the number of unemployed persons, at 10.2 million, and the unemployment rate, at 6.6%, changed little in January. Since October, the jobless rate has decreased by 0.6 percentage point. (See table A-1.)  (See the note and tables B and C for information about the effect of annual population adjustments to the household survey estimates.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (6.2%), adult women (5.9%), teenagers (20.7%), whites (5.7%), blacks (12.1%), and Hispanics (8.4%) showed little change in January. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.8% (not seasonally adjusted), down by 1.7 percentage points over the year. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 3.6 million, declined by 232,000 in January. These individuals accounted for 35.8% of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.1 million over the year.(See table A-12.)

After accounting for the annual adjustment to the population controls, the civilian labor force rose by 499,000 in January, and the labor force participation rate edged up to 63%. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, increased by 616,000 over the month, and the employment-population ratio increased by 0.2 percentage point to 58.8%. (See table A-1. For additional information about the effects of the population adjustments, see table C.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) fell by 514,000 to 7.3 million in January. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work. (See table A-8.)

In January, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed 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. (See table A-16.)

 

Among the marginally attached, there were 837,000 discouraged workers in January, about unchanged from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.8 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in January had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

 

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