Friday, February 02, 2007

Employment Increases in January, Unemployment Remains Unchanged

January Employment Increases By 111,000, Unemployment Rate Unchanged
From The Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation, US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 111,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.6 percent. Payroll employment rose by 196,000 in November and by 206,000 in December (as revised). In January, job growth continued in several service-providing industries. In addition, construction employment rose over the month, while the number of manufacturing jobs continued to decline.

Employment in health care increased by 18,000 in January, following a relatively large increase in December (43,000). Employment continued to trend up over the month in hospitals, ambulatory health care, and nursing and residential care facilities. Over the year, health care employment rose by 328,000.

Food services continued to add jobs in January, with gains of 21,000 over the month and 347,000 over the year. In January, employment in professional and business services
continued to expand, led by a gain of 9,000 in architectural and engineering services.

Construction employment increased by 22,000 in January; job gains occurred in the nonresidential components and in heavy construction. Employment in construction was up by 100,000 over the year, as gains in nonresidential and in heavy construction more than offset losses in residential specialty trades construction.

Manufacturing employment declined by 16,000 in January and by 110,000 over the year. Over the month, there were job losses in motor vehicles and parts, computer and electronic products, furniture, and textile mills. Employee buyouts and larger-than-usual seasonal plant shutdowns contributed to the large job decline in motor vehicles. An employment gain in plastics and rubber products reflected the return of workers from a strike. The factory workweek fell by 0.2 hour to 40.8 hours, and overtime declined by 0.1 hour to 4.1 hours. Since peaking in July, the manufacturing workweek has declined by 0.7 hour.

Average hourly earnings for private production and nonsupervisory workers increased by 3 cents in January to $17.09, a gain of 0.2 percent. Over the year, average hourly earnings rose by 4.0 percent.

A summary of our research efforts can be found at

Turning to the household survey data, both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were essentially unchanged in January, at 4.6 percent and 7.0 million, respectively. The labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio also were little changed over the month, as were most other key measures from the household survey.

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