Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release
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 William J. Wiatrowski Acting Commissioner Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday, February 2, 2018 Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 200,000 in January, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent. Employment continued to trend up in construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing. In 2017, employment growth averaged 181,000 per month. Incorporating revisions for November and December, which decreased nonfarm payroll employment by 24,000 on net, monthly job gains have averaged 192,000 over the past 3 months. Construction employment rose by 36,000 in January, with most of the increase occurring among specialty trade contractors (+26,000). The construction sector has added 226,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up over the month (+31,000). The industry has added 255,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Health care employment also continued to trend up in January (+21,000). Employment in hospitals rose by 13,000 over the month. Job growth in health care averaged 24,000 per month in 2017. In January, manufacturing employment continued on an upward trend (+15,000). Manufacturing has added 186,000 jobs over the past 12 months. A large share of recent job gains occurred in the durable goods component, particularly in fabricated metal products, machinery, and computer and electronic products. Employment in other major industries--mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, professional and business services, and government--changed little over the month. Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents in January to $26.74, following an 11-cent gain in December. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.9 percent. From December 2016 to December 2017, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.1 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis). The major labor market indicators from the survey of households continued to show little or no change in January. The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent for the fourth month in a row. The number of unemployed people, at 6.7 million, changed little over the month. Among the unemployed in January, 1.4 million had been searching for work for 27 weeks or longer. These long-term unemployed accounted for 21.5 percent of the total unemployed. Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent in January, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.1 percent, remained unchanged. The number of people working part time for economic reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time workers, was about unchanged at 5.0 million in January. Among those neither working nor looking for work in January, 1.7 million were marginally attached to the labor force, little different from a year earlier. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, numbered 451,000 in January, also little changed from a year earlier. (People who are marginally attached to the labor force 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 population 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/web/empsit/cps-pop-control-adjustments.pdf.) Summarizing the labor market developments in January, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 200,000, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent.
Last Modified Date: February 02, 2018