U.S. Employment Situation Report for January (Text)

Following is the text of the January employment report from the Labor Department.

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- JANUARY 2012

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 243,000 in January, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth was widespread in the private sector, with large employment gains in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing. Government employment changed little over the month.

Changes to The Employment Situation Data Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors. Also, household survey data for January 2012 reflect updated population estimates.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point in January to 8.3 percent; the rate has fallen by 0.8 point since August. The number of unemployed persons declined to 12.8 million in January. (See the note and tables B and C for information about annual population adjustments to the household survey estimates.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.7 percent) and blacks (13.6 percent) declined in January. The unemployment rates for adult women (7.7 percent), teenagers (23.2 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and Hispanics (10.5 percent) were little changed. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

In January, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs fell to 7.3 million. 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 percent of the unemployed.

After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the employment-population ratio (58.5 percent) rose in January, while the civilian labor force participation rate held at 63.7 percent.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 8.2 million, changed little in January. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In January, 2.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged 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 1.1 million discouraged workers in January, little different 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 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in January had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 243,000 in January. Private-sector employment grew by 257,000, with the largest employment gains in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing. Government employment was little changed over the month.

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).

Over the month, employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 44,000, primarily in food services and drinking places (+33,000). Since a recent low in February 2010, food services has added 487,000 jobs.

In January, health care employment continued to grow (+31,000). Within the industry, hospitals and ambulatory care services each added 13,000 jobs.

Wholesale trade employment increased by 14,000 over the month. Since a recent employment low in May 2010, wholesale trade has added 144,000 jobs.

Employment in retail trade continued to trend up in January. Job gains in department stores (+19,000), health and personal care stores (+7,000), and automobile dealers (+7,000) were partially offset by losses in clothing and clothing accessory stores (-14,000). Since an employment trough in December 2009, retail trade has added 390,000 jobs.

In January, employment in information declined by 13,000, including a loss of 8,000 jobs in the motion picture and sound recording industry.

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.

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $23.29. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.9 percent. In January, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged up by 2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $19.62.

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. Monthly revisions result from additional sample reports and the monthly recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to these revisions.

____________ The Employment Situation for February is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 9, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristy Scheuble in Washington at kmckeaney@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Marco Babic at mbabic@bloomberg.net

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