US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The overall unemployment rate again rose by one tenth of a percent in January, to 4.8 percent, as reported by the US Department of Labor. It was 4.9 percent a year ago in January 2016.

The civilian labor force participation rate rose by two tenths of a percent in January, to 62.9 percent. Although this is the second consecutive month showing an increase, the participation rate has not deviated significantly since October 2013. The employment-population ratio also rose by two tenths of a percent to 59.9 percent in January. The employment-population ratio has been on a gradual upward trend since October 2013.*

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in January.

The unemployment rate for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree remained unchanged at 2.5 percent in January. The rate for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree has not significantly changed since March 2015.

*It should be noted that as of January 2016, updated population estimates are being utilized when calculating employment data. BLS did not modify previous months utilizing the new estimates, so if comparing data from 2016 to earlier months, understand that there will be slight differences in the way the data was derived.

Some details directly from the BLS report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in January. Employment increased in retail trade, construction, and financial activities.

Retail trade employment increased by 46,000 over the month and by 229,000 over the year. Three industries added jobs in January—clothing and clothing accessories stores (+18,000), electronics and appliance stores (+8,000), and furniture and home furnishings stores (+6,000).

Employment in construction rose by 36,000 in January, following little change in December. Residential building added 9,000 jobs over the month, and employment continued to trend up among residential specialty trade contractors (+11,000). Over the past 12 months, construction has added 170,000 jobs.

Financial activities added 32,000 jobs in January, with gains in real estate (+10,000), insurance carriers and related activities (+9,000), and credit intermediation and related activities (+9,000). Financial activities added an average of 15,000 jobs per month in 2016.

In January, employment in professional and technical services rose by 23,000, about in line with the average monthly gain in 2016. Over the month, job gains occurred in computer systems design and related services (+13,000).

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in January (+30,000). This industry added 286,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in health care also continued to trend up in January (+18,000), following a gain of 41,000 in December. The industry has added 374,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in January. In manufacturing, the workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours, while overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 33.6 hours for the sixth consecutive month.

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $26.00, following a 6-cent increase in December. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. In January, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.84.