Commissioner's Statement on The Employment Situation

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press 
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.


                           Statement of

                         Erica L. Groshen
                           Commissioner
                    Bureau of Labor Statistics

                     Friday, February 5, 2016


      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in January, and 
the unemployment rate, at 4.9 percent, changed little. Job 
growth occurred in several industries, including retail trade, 
food services and drinking places, health care, and 
manufacturing. Employment declined in private educational 
services, transportation and warehousing, and mining.

      After incorporating revisions that decreased total nonfarm 
employment by 2,000, on net, for November and December combined 
(including the impact of the annual benchmark process), monthly 
job gains have averaged 231,000 over the past 3 months. In 2015, 
employment growth averaged 228,000 per month.

      Retail trade added 58,000 jobs in January, following 
essentially no change in December (-1,000). In January, there 
were job gains in general merchandise stores (+15,000), 
electronics and appliance stores (+9,000), motor vehicle and 
parts dealers (+8,000), and furniture and home furnishings 
stores (+7,000). Employment in retail trade has increased by 
301,000 over the past 12 months, with motor vehicle and parts 
dealers and general merchandise stores accounting for nearly 
half of the gain.

      Employment in food services and drinking places rose by 
47,000 in January. Over the past 12 months, the industry has 
added 384,000 jobs.

      Employment in health care increased by 37,000 in January, 
led by a gain of 24,000 in hospitals. Hospitals have added 
258,000 jobs since a recent low in January 2014, with nearly 
three-fourths of the gain occurring in the last year.

      Employment in manufacturing rose by 29,000 in January, 
following little change in 2015. Job gains occurred in food 
manufacturing (+11,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), and 
furniture and related products (+3,000). 

      The financial activities industry added 18,000 jobs in 
January. Within the industry, employment in credit 
intermediation and related activities increased by 7,000. Over 
the year, financial activities added 149,000 jobs. 

      Employment in professional and business services changed 
little in January (+9,000), after increasing by 60,000 in 
December. Within the industry, professional and technical 
services added 25,000 jobs over the month, in line with recent 
job growth. Employment in temporary help services edged lower in 
January (-25,000), after edging up by the same amount in 
December.

      Private educational services lost 39,000 jobs in January, 
as seasonal layoffs were larger than usual. 

      Employment in transportation and warehousing decreased by 
20,000 in January. Most of the job loss occurred among couriers 
and messengers (-14,000), reflecting larger than usual layoffs 
following strong seasonal hiring in the prior 2 months.

      Mining employment continued to decline in January (-7,000). 
Since a recent peak in September 2014, employment in the 
industry has decreased by 146,000, or 17 percent. About three-
fourths of the job losses over this period have been in support 
activities for mining.
 
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 12 cents in January to $25.39. Over the past 12 
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. From 
December 2014 to December 2015, the Consumer Price Index for all 
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was up by 0.7 percentage point (on a 
seasonally adjusted basis).
 
     Turning now to data from the household survey, both the 
unemployment rate, at 4.9 percent in January, and the number of 
unemployed persons, at 7.8 million, changed little over the 
month. These measures were down by 0.8 percentage point and 1.1 
million, respectively, over the year. Among the unemployed, 2.1 
million, or 26.9 percent, had been unemployed for 27 weeks or 
more.

      The labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, was 
little changed over the month. The employment-population ratio, 
at 59.6 percent, also changed little in January, but was up by 
0.3 percentage point since October.

      Among the employed, the number working part time for 
economic reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time 
workers, was little changed in January at 6.0 million. The 
number of these workers was down by 796,000 over the past year. 
(Involuntary part-time workers are those who would have 
preferred full-time employment but were working part time 
because their hours had been cut back or because they were 
unable to find full-time work.)

      Among people who were neither working nor looking for work 
in January, 2.1 million were classified as marginally attached 
to the labor force, little different from a year earlier. The 
number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally 
attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was 
623,000 in January, also little changed from a year earlier. 
(The marginally attached are individuals who had not looked for 
work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were 
available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 
months.)

      Following our usual practice, there were routine annual 
adjustments to the data from our two surveys. The establishment 
survey data released today reflect the incorporation of annual 
benchmark revisions. Each year, we re-anchor our sample-based 
survey estimates to full universe counts of employment, 
primarily derived from the Quarterly Census of Employment and 
Wages, which enumerates jobs covered by the unemployment 
insurance tax system. The effect of these revisions on the 
underlying trend in nonfarm payroll employment was minor. 
(Additional information about the benchmark revision and its 
impact is contained in our news release and on our website at 
www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbmart.htm.)

        Household survey data for January reflect updated 
population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Again this 
year, the impact of the new controls on the unemployment rate 
and other ratios was negligible. (Further information can be 
found in our news release and on our website at 
www.bls.gov/cps/population-control-adjustments-2016.pdf.)
  
    In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in 
January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9 
percent.



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Last Modified Date: February 05, 2016