Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Economic News Release

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 W. Beach
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics

                      Friday, February 7, 2020

      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 225,000 in January, and 
the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.6 percent. Notable 
employment gains occurred in construction, in health care, and 
in transportation and warehousing. In 2019, job growth averaged 
175,000 per month.
      Incorporating revisions for November and December, which 
increased payroll employment by 7,000, monthly job gains have 
averaged 211,000 over the past 3 months.
      Construction employment rose by 44,000 in January. Job 
gains were concentrated in specialty trade contractors, with 
increases about equally split between the residential (+18,000) 
and nonresidential (+17,000) components. In 2019, construction 
added an average of 12,000 jobs per month.
      Employment in health care increased by 36,000 in January, 
about in line with the average monthly gain in 2019 (+29,000). 
Over the month, employment rose in ambulatory care services 
(+23,000) and hospitals (+10,000).
      In January, employment in transportation and warehousing 
increased by 28,000, driven by gains in couriers and messengers 
(+14,000) and in warehousing and storage (+6,000). These two 
industries accounted for about four-fifths of the over-the-year 
growth in transportation and warehousing (+106,000).
      Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up 
in January (+36,000). The industry has added 288,000 jobs over 
the past 6 months.
      Over the month, employment also continued to trend up in 
professional and business services (+21,000). The industry has 
added 390,000 jobs over the year.
      Manufacturing employment changed little in January  
(-12,000) and has shown little movement, on net, over the year. 
Motor vehicles and parts lost 11,000 jobs in January.
      Employment in other major industries--including mining, 
wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial 
activities, and government--showed little change over the month.
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 7 cents in January to $28.44, following a gain 
of 3 cents in December. Over the past 12 months, average hourly 
earnings have risen by 3.1 percent; the over-the-year percent 
change has been 3.0 percent or above for 18 consecutive months. 
From December 2018 to December 2019, the Consumer Price Index 
for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.3 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. 
Both the unemployment rate, at 3.6 percent, and the number of 
unemployed people, at 5.9 million, were little changed over the 
      Among the unemployed, the number of people searching for 
work for 27 weeks or more was essentially unchanged at 1.2 
million in January. These long-term unemployed accounted for 
19.9 percent of the unemployed.
      The labor force participation rate edged up to 63.4 percent 
in January. The employment-population ratio was little changed 
at 61.2 percent.
      In January, 4.2 million people were working part time for 
economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time 
workers), essentially unchanged from the previous month.
      Among those neither working nor looking for work in 
January, 1.3 million were considered marginally attached to the 
labor force, little changed over the month. (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.) Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally 
attached who believed no jobs were available for them, numbered 
337,000 in January, also little changed from a month earlier.
      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 counts jobs covered by the unemployment insurance 
tax system. The level of nonfarm payroll employment in March 
2019 was revised down by 514,000, or -0.3 percent. The average 
benchmark revision over the past 10 years was plus or minus 0.2 
percent. (Additional information about the benchmark revision 
and its impact is contained in our news release and on our 
website at
      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 
      Summarizing the labor market developments in January, 
nonfarm payroll employment rose by 225,000, and the unemployment 
rate was little changed at 3.6 percent.

Last Modified Date: September 23, 2020