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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
                        Erica L. Groshen
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics
                    Friday, February 1, 2013

     Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January,
and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9
percent. In 2012, job gains averaged 181,000 per month. In
January, employment rose in retail trade, construction, health
care, and wholesale trade but edged down in transportation and
     Retail trade employment grew by 33,000 over the month and
has increased by 213,000 over the past 12 months. In January,
employment continued to trend up in clothing and accessories
stores (+10,000), motor vehicle and parts dealers (+7,000), and
electronics and appliance stores (+5,000).
     Construction employment increased by 28,000 in January.
Since reaching a low in January 2011, construction employment has
grown by 296,000, with one-third of the gain occurring in the
last 4 months. However, the January 2013 level of construction
employment remained about 2 million below its previous peak level
in April 2006.
     In January, health care added 23,000 jobs, about in line
with the average monthly gains in this industry during 2012. Over
the month, ambulatory health care services, such as doctors'
offices and outpatient care centers, added 28,000 jobs, while
employment in nursing and residential care decreased by 8,000.
     Wholesale trade added 15,000 jobs in January, mostly in
nondurable goods. Since the recent low point in May 2010,
wholesale trade has added 291,000 jobs.
     Transportation and warehousing employment edged down by
14,000 in January. Couriers and messengers shed 19,000 jobs over
the month, partially offsetting job gains in November and
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 4 cents in January to $23.78. Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1 percent. From
December 2011 to December 2012, the Consumer Price Index for All
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.7 percent.
     In accordance with annual practice, the establishment survey
data released today reflect the incorporation of benchmark
revisions. Each year, BLS re-anchors the sample-based survey
estimates to full universe counts of employment, primarily
derived from administrative records of the unemployment insurance
tax system. The level of nonfarm payroll employment in March 2012
was revised up by 424,000 (not seasonally adjusted) or 0.3
percent. The average benchmark revision over the past 10 years
was plus or minus 0.3 percent. (Further information about the
benchmark revision and its impact is contained in our news
release and on our Web site at
     I also would note that, as is our annual practice, we have
incorporated new population controls into the household survey
estimates. Data beginning in January 2013 reflect population
controls based on updated information on net international
migration, updated vital statistics and other information, and
some methodological changes in the estimation process. This year,
the impact of the new controls on the unemployment rate and other
major household survey measures is negligible. (Additional
information can be found in our news release and on our Web site
     Returning to the data for January, the unemployment rate, at
7.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 12.3
million, were essentially unchanged over the month. The
unemployment rate has shown little or no change since September.
The labor force participation rate, at 63.6 percent, and the
employment-population ratio, at 58.6 percent, were unchanged in
     Among persons who were neither working nor looking for work
in January, 2.4 million were classified as marginally attached to
the labor force, down 366,000 from a year earlier. These
individuals 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. The number of discouraged
workers, a subset of the marginally attached, was 804,000 in
January, down by 255,000 from a year earlier.
     In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000
in January, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged
at 7.9 percent.

Last Modified Date: February 01, 2013