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January 2013 Nonfarm Payroll Employment Up 157,000 - Unemployment 7.9%

February 01, 2013

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade added jobs over the month.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons, at 12.3 million, was little changed in January. The unemployment rate was 7.9 percent and has been at or near that level since September 2012.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.3 percent), adult women (7.3 percent), teenagers (23.4 percent), whites (7.0 percent), blacks (13.8 percent), and Hispanics (9.7 percent) showed little or no change in January. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was about unchanged at 4.7 million and accounted for 38.1 percent of the unemployed.

Both the employment-population ratio (58.6 percent) and the civilian labor force participation rate (63.6 percent) were unchanged in January.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 8.0 million, changed little in January. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In January, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 366,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 804,000 discouraged workers in January, a decline of 255,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in January had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris issued the following statement on the January 2013 Employment Situation report released today:

"This morning's report shows solid, steady growth in jobs. The economy added 157,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in January, while the unemployment rate was unchanged at7.9 percent.

"January's report marks 35 consecutive months of private sector job growth totaling more than 6.1 million jobs. Today's report shows that the economy gained 2.25 million private sector jobs in 2012, which includes an annual revision to the survey that resulted in an additional 424,000 jobs.

"Our recovery from the Great Recession continues at a steady pace as we build on previous gains in job creation. The recent strengthening of the housing market, in particular, is driving welcome growth in construction employment, with 98,000 jobs added over the past four months and 296,000 jobs over the past two years. Retail jobs, health care jobs, and professional and business services jobs also contributed to the positive numbers in today's report.

"Over the last three months, we've added an average of 208,000 private sector jobs, and that is a real testament to the resilience of our economy. But there is more work to do. The bipartisan American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 enacted this month met President Obama's goal of keeping taxes low for middle class families a critical part of assuring that our economy will stay on its path toward greater growth. Congress should resolve remaining tax and spending issues to provide hard-working middle-class families and small businesses a measure of certainty about the future. As Congress considers how it should address long-term deficit challenges, it is essential that it take a balanced approach that preserves programs providing important safeguards for working families struggling to make ends meet in an improving labor market."

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