Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 243,000 in January, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3%, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth was widespread in the private sector (which gained 257,000 jobs in the month), with large employment gains in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing (which added an impressive 50,000 jobs). The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +100,000 to +157,000, and the change for December was revised from +200,000 to +203,000 which brings the total number of jobs gained with this report to 303,000, a very impressive figure.
This employment news is really starting to add up to something good. And this is going on while everyone is worrying about the Euro imploding. Quite remarkable really. Avoiding a much worse result from the too big-to-fail-financial-firms credit crisis is surprising. We are not close to through the mess that we created, but that it hasn’t been much worse is fairly amazing. And that things are going so well now (even with large unemployment problems) is impressive. The huge government debt balances are a very large concern but it wouldn’t be surprising to have those same huge debts and much worse present day conditions (which would add to the debts).
The unemployment rate declined to 8.3%; the rate has fallen by 80 basis point since August. The number of unemployed persons declined to 12.8 million in January. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.7%) and blacks (13.6%) declined in January. The unemployment rates for adult women (7.7%), teenagers (23.2%), whites (7.4%), and Hispanics (10.5%) were little changed. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.7%.
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% of the unemployed. Long term unemployment remains a big problem. With a few more months with such strong growth in jobs and that could start to change.
After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the employment-population ratio (58.5%) rose in January, while the civilian labor force participation rate held at 63.7%.
Professional and business services continued to add jobs in January (+70,000). About half of the increase occurred in employment services (+33,000). Job gains also occurred in accounting and bookkeeping (+13,000) and in architectural and engineering services (+7,000).
Related: USA Adds 216,00 Jobs in March and the Unemployment Rate Stands at 8.8% (March 2011) – USA Unemployment Rate Remains at 9.7% (Feb 2010) – USA Unemployment Rate Rises to 8.1%, Highest Level Since 1983 (March 2009)
In January, health care employment continued to grow (+31,000). Within the industry, hospitals and ambulatory care services each added 13,000 jobs.
In the goods-producing sector, manufacturing added 50,000 jobs. Nearly all of the increase occurred in durable goods manufacturing, with job growth in fabricated metal products (+11,000), machinery (+11,000), and motor vehicles and parts (+8,000). Durable goods manufacturing has added 418,000 jobs over the past 2 years.
Employment in construction increased by 21,000 in January, following a gain of 31,000 in the previous month. Over the past 2 months, nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 30,000 jobs.
Mining added 10,000 jobs in January, with most of the gain in support activities for mining (+8,000). Since a recent low in October 2009, mining employment has expanded by 172,000.
Government employment changed little in January. Over the past 12 months, the sector has lost 276,000 jobs, with declines in local government; state government, excluding education; and the U.S. Postal Service.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged in January. The manufacturing workweek increased by 0.3 hour to 40.9 hours, and factory overtime increased by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.8 hours.
The monthly revisions in job gains (or losses) result from additional sample reports and the monthly recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to these revisions.