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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
                      William J. Wiatrowski
                       Acting Commissioner
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics

                    Friday, February 2, 2018

      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 200,000 in January, and 
the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent. Employment 
continued to trend up in construction, food services and 
drinking places, health care, and manufacturing. In 2017, 
employment growth averaged 181,000 per month.
      Incorporating revisions for November and December, which 
decreased nonfarm payroll employment by 24,000 on net, monthly 
job gains have averaged 192,000 over the past 3 months. 
      Construction employment rose by 36,000 in January, with 
most of the increase occurring among specialty trade contractors 
(+26,000). The construction sector has added 226,000 jobs over 
the past 12 months.
      Employment in food services and drinking places continued 
to trend up over the month (+31,000). The industry has added 
255,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
      Health care employment also continued to trend up in 
January (+21,000). Employment in hospitals rose by 13,000 over 
the month. Job growth in health care averaged 24,000 per month 
in 2017.
      In January, manufacturing employment continued on an upward 
trend (+15,000). Manufacturing has added 186,000 jobs over the 
past 12 months. A large share of recent job gains occurred in 
the durable goods component, particularly in fabricated metal 
products, machinery, and computer and electronic products. 
      Employment in other major industries--mining, wholesale 
trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, 
information, financial activities, professional and business 
services, and government--changed little over the month.
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 9 cents in January to $26.74, following an 
11-cent gain in December. Over the past 12 months, average 
hourly earnings have risen by 2.9 percent. From December 2016 to 
December 2017, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers 
(CPI-U) increased by 2.1 percent (on a seasonally adjusted 
      The major labor market indicators from the survey of 
households continued to show little or no change in January. The 
unemployment rate was 4.1 percent for the fourth month in a row. 
The number of unemployed people, at 6.7 million, changed little 
over the month.
      Among the unemployed in January, 1.4 million had been 
searching for work for 27 weeks or longer. These long-term 
unemployed accounted for 21.5 percent of the total unemployed.
      Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent in 
January, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.1 percent, 
remained unchanged. 
      The number of people working part time for economic 
reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time workers, was 
about unchanged at 5.0 million in January. 
      Among those neither working nor looking for work in 
January, 1.7 million were marginally attached to the labor 
force, little different from a year earlier. Discouraged 
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that 
no jobs were available for them, numbered 451,000 in January, 
also little changed from a year earlier. (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 
      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 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 200,000, and the unemployment 
rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent.

Last Modified Date: February 02, 2018