Unemployment Rate Slightly Changed at 5.7% in January


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Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 257,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities, and manufacturing.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate, at 5.7%, changed little in January and has shown no net change since October. The number of unemployed persons, at 9.0 million, was little changed in January.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers (18.8%) increased in January. The jobless rates for adult men (5.3%), adult women (5.1%), whites (4.9%), blacks (10.3%), Asians (4.0%), and Hispanics (6.7% showed little or no change.

In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.8 million. These individuals accounted for 31.5% of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 828,000.

After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the civilian labor force rose by 703,000 in January. The labor force participation rate rose by 0.2% point to 62.9%, following a decline of equal magnitude in the prior month. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, increased by 435,000 in January, and the employment-population ratio was little changed at 59.3%.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged in January at 6.8 million. 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.

In January, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 358,000 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.

Among the marginally attached, there were 682,000 discouraged workers in January, down by 155,000 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 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in January had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

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