U.S. Unemployment Rate Edges Up To 4.0%

Employees in an office
U.S. Unemployment Rate Edges up To 4.0%

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January, and the unemployment rate edged up to 4.0 percent. Job gains occurred in several industries, including leisure and hospitality, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing.

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — JANUARY 2019

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January, and the
unemployment rate edged up to 4.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Job gains occurred in several industries, including leisure
and hospitality, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing.  

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|                                           |
|                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 2019 reflect updated population   |
|   estimates. See the notes beginning at the end of this news release for    |
|   more information about these changes.                      |
|_____________________________________________________________________________|

Household Survey Data

Both the unemployment rate, at 4.0 percent, and the number of unemployed persons,
at 6.5 million, edged up in January. The impact of the partial federal government
shutdown contributed to the uptick in these measures. Among the unemployed, the
number who reported being on temporary layoff increased by 175,000. This figure
includes furloughed federal employees who were classified as unemployed on
temporary layoff under the definitions used in the household survey. (See tables
A-1 and A-11. For information about annual population adjustments to the household
survey estimates, see the note at the end of this release and tables B and C. For
more information on the classification of workers affected by the partial federal
government shutdown, see the box note at the end of this news release.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics increased to
4.9 percent in January. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult
women (3.6 percent), teenagers (12.9 percent), Whites (3.5 percent), Blacks
(6.8 percent), and Asians (3.1 percent) showed little change over the month. (See
tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more)
was little changed at 1.3 million and accounted for 19.3 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate, at 63.2 percent, and the employment-population
ratio, at 60.7 percent, changed little over the month; both measures were up by 0.5
percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred
to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by about one-half million to 5.1
million in January. Nearly all of this increase occurred in the private sector and
may reflect the impact of the partial federal government shutdown. (Persons employed
part time for economic reasons would have preferred full-time employment but were
working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find
full-time jobs.) (See table A-8.)

In January, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force,
essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (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. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 426,000 discouraged workers in January,
little different than a year earlier. (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 1.2 million persons
marginally attached to the labor force in January had not searched for work for
reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January, compared with
an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. In January, employment grew in several
industries, including leisure and hospitality, construction, health care, and
transportation and warehousing. There were no discernible impacts of the partial
federal government shutdown on the estimates of employment, hours, and earnings
from the establishment survey. (See table B-1. For information about the annual
benchmark process, see the note at the end of this release and table A. For more
information on the classification of workers affected by the partial federal
government shutdown, see the box note at the end of this news release.)

In January, employment in leisure and hospitality rose by 74,000. Within the
industry, job gains occurred in food services and drinking places (+37,000) and in
amusements, gambling, and recreation (+32,000). Over the year, leisure and
hospitality has added 410,000 jobs.

Construction employment rose by 52,000 in January. Job gains occurred among
specialty trade contractors, with increases in both the nonresidential (+19,000)
and residential (+15,000) components. Employment also rose in heavy and civil
engineering construction (+10,000) and residential building (+9,000). Construction
has added 338,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in health care increased by 42,000 in January. Within the industry, job
gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+22,000) and hospitals (+19,000).
Health care has added 368,000 jobs over the past year.

Over the month, employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 27,000,
following little change in December. In January, job gains occurred in warehousing
and storage (+15,000) and among couriers and messengers (+7,000). Over the year,
employment in transportation and warehousing has increased by 219,000.

In January, retail trade employment edged up by 21,000. Job gains occurred in
sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (+17,000), while general merchandise
stores lost jobs (-12,000). Employment in retail trade has shown little net change
over the past 12 months (+26,000).

Mining employment increased by 7,000 in January. The industry has added 64,000 jobs
over the year, almost entirely in support activities for mining.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up over the
month (+30,000) and has increased by 546,000 in the past 12 months.

Employment in manufacturing continued to trend up in January (+13,000). Over-the-
month job gains occurred in durable goods (+20,000), while employment in nondurable
goods changed little (-7,000). Manufacturing employment has increased by 261,000
over the year, with more than four-fifths of the gain in durable goods industries.

Employment in federal government was essentially unchanged in January (+1,000).
Federal employees on furlough during the partial government shutdown were counted as
employed in the establishment survey because they worked or received pay (or will
receive pay) for the pay period that included the 12th of the month.

Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including
wholesale trade, information, and financial activities.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at
34.5 hours in January. In manufacturing, both the workweek and overtime decreased by
0.1 hour to 40.8 hours and 3.5 hours, respectively. The average workweek for
production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls held at 33.7
hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 3 cents to $27.56, following a 10-cent gain in December. Over the year,
average hourly earnings have increased by 85 cents, or 3.2 percent. Average hourly
earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 3
cents to $23.12 in January. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up from
+176,000 to +196,000, and the change for December was revised down from +312,000 to
+222,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined
were 70,000 less than previously reported. After revisions, job gains have averaged
241,000 per month over the last 3 months. (Monthly revisions result from additional
reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published
estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process
also contributed to the November and December revisions.)