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Economy adds 113k January jobs; jobless rate drops to 6.6 percent

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In the latest Employment Situation Summary on Friday the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the United States economy added 113,000 net non-farm jobs in January, while the unemployment rate ticked down slightly by 0.1 percent to 6.6 percent.

While the job growth for the month was lower than anticipated, the BLS reported significant growth in the labor force (+499,000), a drop in the number of long-term unemployed (-232,000) and a drop in the number of involuntary part-time workers (-514,000). The numbers of marginally attached and discouraged workers had little change.

January was the 47th consecutive month of private sector job growth with a total of approximately 8.5 million net jobs gained within the private sector over the past three years and 11 months.

The private sector added 142,000 jobs during the month with the largest gains in the construction, manufacturing, leisure and hospitality and the professional and business services sectors. Retail sector net jobs declined, most likely due to the reduction of post-holiday staff. The education and health care sector also posted a drop in net jobs.

Meanwhile the government sector lost a total of 29,000 jobs across all three sub-sectors: federal, state and local.

Both the November 2013 and the December 2013 net job numbers were revised upward from 241,000 to 274,000 and 74,000 to 75,000, respectively.

Following is an approximate breakdown of net job growth within the major private industry sectors and the government sector for January:

• Construction: +48,000
• Financial Activities: -2,000
• Education and Health Services: -6,000
• Information: +0
• Leisure and Hospitality: +24,000
• Manufacturing: +21,000
• Mining and Logging: +7,000
• Other Services: +4,000
• Professional and Business Services: +36,000
• Retail: -12,900
• Transportation and Warehousing: +9,900
• Utilities: -1,500
• Wholesale Trade: +13,900
• Government: -29,000

The average work week for private sector non-farm jobs remained steady at 34.4 hours while the manufacturing sector average work week dropped by 0.2 hours to 40.7 hours. In January the average hourly earnings for all private non-farm employees increased by 5 cents to $24.21.

Despite the drop in long-term unemployment, the unemployment rate remains at a level historically consistent with bipartisan extension of unemployment insurance benefits. In the U.S. Senate on Thursday republicans continued to filibuster the latest attempt by democrats to extend unemployment benefits vital to the lives of over 1.7 million Americans.

On Friday White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jason Furman remarked in his blog,

“Businesses have now added 8.5 million jobs over the last 47 months and the unemployment rate ticked down to its lowest level in more than five years. But the economy is still healing from the Great Recession and steps are still needed to expand economic opportunity. Given the elevated long-term unemployment rate, extending emergency unemployment benefits for the 1.7 million workers who lost them is critical. At the same time, the President will continue to focus on action, both pushing forward on priorities with Congress and using his pen and his phone to expand opportunity and growth.”

The “February 2014 Employment Situation Summary” will be released by the BLS on Friday, March 7, 2014.

Sources:

Employment Situation Summary.” bls.gov. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 7 Feb. 2014. Web. 7 Feb. 2014.

Furman, Jason. “The Employment Situation in January.” whitehouse.gov. The White House. 7 Feb. 2014. Web. 7 Feb. 2014.

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