Payroll employment increases by 200k in January; unemployment rate unchanged at 4.1%

The Employment Situation for January 2018

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 200,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.

Household Survey Data

In January, the unemployment rate was 4.1% for the fourth consecutive month. The number of unemployed persons, at 6.7 million, changed little over the month. (See table A-1. For information about annual population adjustments to the household survey estimates, see the note at the end of this news release and tables B and C.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Blacks increased to 7.7% in January, and the rate for Whites edged down to 3.5%. The jobless rates for adult men (3.9%), adult women (3.6%), teenagers (13.9%), Asians (3.0%), and Hispanics (5.0%) showed little change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.4 million in January and accounted for 21.5% of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force and total employment, as measured by the household survey, changed little in January (after accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls). The labor force participation rate was 62.7 percent for the fourth consecutive month and the employment-population ratio was 60.1% for the third month in a row. (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) was essentially unchanged at 5.0 million in January. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In January, 1.7 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 451,000 discouraged workers in January, little changed 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 1.2 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.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 200,000 in January. Employment continued to trend up in construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing. (See table B-1. For information about the annual benchmark process, see the note and table A.)

Construction added 36,000 jobs in January, with most of the increase occurring among specialty trade contractors (+26,000). Employment in residential building construction continued to trend up over the month (+5,000). Over the year, construction employment has increased by 226,000.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in January (+31,000). The industry has added 255,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in health care continued to trend up in January (+21,000), with a gain of 13,000 in hospitals. In 2017, health care added an average of 24,000 jobs per month.

In January, employment in manufacturing remained on an upward trend (+15,000). Durable goods industries added 18,000 jobs. Manufacturing has added 186,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, professional and business services, and government, changed little over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls declined by 0.2 hour to 34.3 hours in January. In manufacturing, the workweek declined by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours, while overtime remained at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.74, following an 11-cent gain in December. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 75 cents, or 2.9%. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 3 cents to $22.34 in January. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised down from +252,000 to +216,000, and the change for December was revised up from +148,000 to +160,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 24,000 less than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to the November and December revisions.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 192,000 over the last three months.

Click here to see the entire report, along with the tables and graphs.

The Employment Situation for February is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 9, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

 

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