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Employment Situation Report - January 2014

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Yesterday the Department of Labor, Bureau or Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Employment Situation Summary for unemployment data collected during January 2014. Each month the BLS reports on the US Employment Situation by surveying households across the United States. The January 2014 Employment Situation Summary posted a national unemployment rate of 6.6% which was little changed from the previous month. Job creation during January came in with 113,000 jobs that were added to the US economy which was a increase from the previous month where the economy added 74,000 jobs.

With national unemployment rate at 6.6% there are 10.2 million jobless Americans. Of that number, the Employment Situation Summary reports there are 3.6 million who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more and are deemed long term unemployed. This group of long term unemployed decreased from the previous month by 300,000 and should continue to shrink as congress refuses to provide benefits to this segment of the unemployed. The long term unemployed make up 35.8% of the total national unemployment.

Labor participation remains an ongoing concern in the BLS reporting. In December there were a total of 10.4 million unemployed. In January there were 10.2 million unemployed when job creation was only 113,000. With a drop in 200,000 unemployed what happened to the 87,000 unemployed workers? Similar math applied to those who are part time workers that dropped by 514,000 workers in January. Where did half a million part time workers go when the economy added just over 100,000 jobs?

Not counted in the January's national unemployment rate are 7.3 million involuntary part time workers. This group of involuntary part time cannot find full time work or have had their hours reduced to part time. Another category not counted in the national unemployment rate are the 2.6 million persons who are considered marginally attached to the labor force. This is an increase for those who have given up looking for a job and are not counted as unemployed because they have not searched for work in the last four weeks. Among the marginally attached workers there are 837,000 discouraged workers who has simply given up because they do not believe there is a job out there for them.

Of those jobs created in January construction (+48,000) lead in job creation. While January job growth declined in retail trade (-13,000 jobs lost) and Federal government jobs (-9,000 jobs lost). Employment in healthcare, transportation and warehousing, financial activities and leisure and hospitality was little changed during the month.

To view the full report go to Employment Situation Summary – January 2014. The next national Employment Situation report will be released by the Department of Labor on March 7, 2014 and will cover employment data collected during February 2014.

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