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Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Transmission of material in this statement is embargoed until
8:30 a.m. (ET) Friday, February 4, 2022.

                            Statement of

                          William W. Beach
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics

                      Friday, February 4, 2022

      Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 467,000 in January,
and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.0 percent.
Employment growth continued in leisure and hospitality, in
professional and business services, in retail trade, and in
transportation and warehousing.

      Employment has increased by 19.1 million since April 2020
but is down by 2.9 million, or 1.9 percent, from its level
before the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in
February 2020. Monthly job growth averaged 555,000 in 2021.

      Leisure and hospitality continued adding jobs in January
(+151,000). Employment in the industry grew by 2.4 million over
the year but is down by 1.8 million, or 10.3 percent, from its
February 2020 level. Within the industry, food services and
drinking places (+108,000) and accommodation (+23,000) added
jobs in January.

      Professional and business services employment continued to
grow in January (+86,000). Over the month, job growth occurred
in management and technical consulting services (+16,000),
computer systems design and related services (+15,000),
architectural and engineering services (+8,000), and other
professional and technical services (+7,000). Employment
continued trending up in temporary help services (+26,000).
Employment in professional and business services is 511,000
higher than in February 2020, largely in temporary help services
(+185,000), computer systems design and related services
(+161,000), and management and technical consulting services

      In January, retail trade continued adding jobs (+61,000).
Over the month, employment increased in general merchandise
stores (+29,000); health and personal care stores (+11,000);
sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (+7,000); and
building material and garden supply stores (+6,000). Retail
trade employment is 61,000 higher than in February 2020.

      Job growth continued in transportation and warehousing in
January (+54,000). Employment grew in couriers and messengers
(+21,000), warehousing and storage (+13,000), truck
transportation (+8,000), and air transportation (+7,000).
Employment in transportation and warehousing is 542,000 above
its February 2020 level, with particularly strong growth in
warehousing and storage (+410,000) and couriers and messengers

      In January, employment rose by 29,000 in local government
education, while state government education was essentially
unchanged (-1,000). Private education employment continued to
trend up over the month (+13,000). Since February 2020,
employment is down by 359,000 in local government education, by
87,000 in private education, and by 31,000 in state government

      Health care employment continued trending up in January
(+18,000). Over the year, health care employment has increased
by 175,000 but is 378,000 below its February 2020 level.

      Employment in wholesale trade grew by 16,000 in January,
with gains in both durable goods (+11,000) and nondurable goods
(+8,000). Over the year, employment in the industry has
increased by 156,000 but is 125,000 below its February 2020

      Employment showed little change over the month in other
major industries, including mining, construction, manufacturing,
information, financial activities, and other services.

      In January, the average workweek for all private-sector
workers fell by 0.2 hour to 34.5 hours. The average workweek for
manufacturing edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.2 hours.

      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls increased by 23 cents to $31.63 in January. Over the
past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.7

      Following our usual practice, the establishment survey data
released today reflect the incorporation of annual benchmark
revisions. Each year, we re-anchor or benchmark our sample-based
survey estimates to full universe counts of employment,
primarily derived from the Quarterly Census of Employment and
Wages, which counts jobs covered by the unemployment insurance
tax system. Payroll employment for March 2021 was revised upward
by 374,000. On a not seasonally adjusted basis, total nonfarm
employment for March 2021 was revised downward by 7,000, or less
than -0.05 percent. Not seasonally adjusted, the absolute
average benchmark revision over the past 10 years is 0.1

      Also, in accordance with usual practice, we updated
seasonal adjustment models and revised the latest 5 years of
data (back to January 2017). These models remove normal seasonal
fluctuations--such as regular employment changes due to major
holidays--from our data series, making it easier to observe
cyclical and other economic trends. Now that we have more
monthly observations related to the historically large job
losses and gains seen in the pandemic-driven recession and
recovery, the models can better distinguish normal seasonal
movements from underlying trends. As a result, some large
revisions to seasonally adjusted data occurred with our updated
models; however, these monthly changes mostly offset each other.
For example, the over-the-month change in employment for
November and December 2021 combined is 709,000 higher than
previously reported, while the over-the-month change in
employment for June and July 2021 combined is 807,000 lower.
Overall, the 2021 over-the-year change is 217,000 higher than
previously reported. Going forward, the updated models should
produce more reliable estimates of seasonal movements.
(Additional information about the benchmark revision and its
impact is contained in our news release and on our website at

      Before we turn to data from the household survey, it should
be noted that the household data for January reflect updated
population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, as is our
annual practice. The change in population reflected in the new
estimates results from the introduction of a blended 2020
population base, which combines population totals from the 2020
Census and demographic characteristics from other sources. It
also reflects adjustments for net international migration,
updated vital statistics, and estimation methodology
improvements. The impact of the new controls on the unemployment
rate is negligible. However, the labor force participation rate
and the employment-population ratio increased due to changes in
the composition of the population. (Further information can be
found in our news release and on our website at

      Turning to the labor market indicators from the household
survey, both the unemployment rate, at 4.0 percent, and the
number of unemployed people, at 6.5 million, were little changed
in January. Over the year, the unemployment rate is down by 2.4
percentage points, and the number of unemployed people is down
by 3.7 million. Both measures have fallen from their recent
peaks in April 2020 but remain above their February 2020 levels
(3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively).

      Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for
adult men (3.8 percent) and Whites (3.4 percent) edged up in
January. The jobless rates for adult women (3.6 percent),
teenagers (10.9 percent), Blacks (6.9 percent), Asians (3.6
percent), and Hispanics (4.9 percent) showed little or no

      Among the unemployed, the number of job leavers increased
to 952,000 in January, following a decrease in the prior month.
The number of people on temporary layoff, at 959,000 in January,
also rose over the month but is down by 1.8 million over the
year. The number of permanent job losers, at 1.6 million, was
little changed in January. This measure is down by 1.9 million
from a year earlier but is above its February 2020 level of 1.3

      In January, the number of people jobless less than 5 weeks
increased to 2.4 million and accounted for 37.0 percent of the
total unemployed. The number of people unemployed for 27 weeks
or more (often referred to as the long-term unemployed) declined
to 1.7 million in January. This measure is down from 4.0 million
a year earlier but is 570,000 above its February 2020 level. In
January, the long-term unemployed accounted for 25.9 percent of
the unemployed.

      After accounting for the annual adjustments to the
population controls, the labor force participation rate held at
62.2 percent in January, and the employment-population ratio, at
59.7 percent, was little changed. Both measures are up over the
year but remain below their February 2020 levels (63.4 percent
and 61.2 percent, respectively).

      In January, the number of people working part time for
economic reasons, at 3.7 million, continued to trend down. This
measure has fallen by 2.2 million over the year and is 673,000
lower than in February 2020.

      The number of people not in the labor force who currently
want a job, at 5.7 million, changed little in January but is
down by 1.3 million over the year. This measure remains above
its February 2020 level of 5.0 million.

      Among those who were not in the labor force but wanted a
job, 1.5 million were marginally attached to the labor force in
January, also little changed over the month. (People who are
marginally attached to the labor force had not actively 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.) The number of discouraged workers, a subset of
the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available
for them, was little changed at 408,000 in January.

      Looking at supplemental pandemic-related measures from the
household survey (these supplemental data are not seasonally
adjusted), the share of employed people who teleworked because
of the pandemic increased to 15.4 percent in January. These data
refer only to employed people who teleworked or worked from home
for pay at some point in the last 4 weeks specifically because
of the pandemic; they do not include all instances of telework.

      In January, the number of people who reported that they had
been unable to work because their employer closed or lost
business due to the pandemic rose to 6.0 million. (These
individuals did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some
point in the last 4 weeks due to the pandemic.)

      Among those who reported in January that they were unable
to work because of pandemic-related closures or lost business,
23.7 percent received at least some pay from their employer for
the hours not worked, up from the prior month.

      Among those not in the labor force in January, 1.8 million
people were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic,
up from December. (To be counted as unemployed, by definition,
individuals must either be actively searching for work or on
temporary layoff.)

      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 467,000
in January, and the unemployment rate changed little at 4.0

Last Modified Date: February 04, 2022