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.
Erica L. Groshen
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Friday, February 5, 2016
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in January, and
the unemployment rate, at 4.9 percent, changed little. Job
growth occurred in several industries, including retail trade,
food services and drinking places, health care, and
manufacturing. Employment declined in private educational
services, transportation and warehousing, and mining.
After incorporating revisions that decreased total nonfarm
employment by 2,000, on net, for November and December combined
(including the impact of the annual benchmark process), monthly
job gains have averaged 231,000 over the past 3 months. In 2015,
employment growth averaged 228,000 per month.
Retail trade added 58,000 jobs in January, following
essentially no change in December (-1,000). In January, there
were job gains in general merchandise stores (+15,000),
electronics and appliance stores (+9,000), motor vehicle and
parts dealers (+8,000), and furniture and home furnishings
stores (+7,000). Employment in retail trade has increased by
301,000 over the past 12 months, with motor vehicle and parts
dealers and general merchandise stores accounting for nearly
half of the gain.
Employment in food services and drinking places rose by
47,000 in January. Over the past 12 months, the industry has
added 384,000 jobs.
Employment in health care increased by 37,000 in January,
led by a gain of 24,000 in hospitals. Hospitals have added
258,000 jobs since a recent low in January 2014, with nearly
three-fourths of the gain occurring in the last year.
Employment in manufacturing rose by 29,000 in January,
following little change in 2015. Job gains occurred in food
manufacturing (+11,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), and
furniture and related products (+3,000).
The financial activities industry added 18,000 jobs in
January. Within the industry, employment in credit
intermediation and related activities increased by 7,000. Over
the year, financial activities added 149,000 jobs.
Employment in professional and business services changed
little in January (+9,000), after increasing by 60,000 in
December. Within the industry, professional and technical
services added 25,000 jobs over the month, in line with recent
job growth. Employment in temporary help services edged lower in
January (-25,000), after edging up by the same amount in
Private educational services lost 39,000 jobs in January,
as seasonal layoffs were larger than usual.
Employment in transportation and warehousing decreased by
20,000 in January. Most of the job loss occurred among couriers
and messengers (-14,000), reflecting larger than usual layoffs
following strong seasonal hiring in the prior 2 months.
Mining employment continued to decline in January (-7,000).
Since a recent peak in September 2014, employment in the
industry has decreased by 146,000, or 17 percent. About three-
fourths of the job losses over this period have been in support
activities for mining.
Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 12 cents in January to $25.39. Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. From
December 2014 to December 2015, the Consumer Price Index for all
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was up by 0.7 percentage point (on a
seasonally adjusted basis).
Turning now to data from the household survey, both the
unemployment rate, at 4.9 percent in January, and the number of
unemployed persons, at 7.8 million, changed little over the
month. These measures were down by 0.8 percentage point and 1.1
million, respectively, over the year. Among the unemployed, 2.1
million, or 26.9 percent, had been unemployed for 27 weeks or
The labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, was
little changed over the month. The employment-population ratio,
at 59.6 percent, also changed little in January, but was up by
0.3 percentage point since October.
Among the employed, the number working part time for
economic reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time
workers, was little changed in January at 6.0 million. The
number of these workers was down by 796,000 over the past year.
(Involuntary part-time workers are those who would have
preferred full-time employment but were working part time
because their hours had been cut back or because they were
unable to find full-time work.)
Among people who were neither working nor looking for work
in January, 2.1 million were classified as marginally attached
to the labor force, little different from a year earlier. The
number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally
attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was
623,000 in January, also little changed from a year earlier.
(The marginally attached are individuals who 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
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
Household survey data for January reflect updated
population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Again this
year, the impact of the new controls on the unemployment rate
and other ratios was negligible. (Further information can be
found in our news release and on our website at
In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in
January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9