February 10, 2004
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 112,000 in January, seasonally adjusted.
Retail trade employment increased by 76,000 over the month, after seasonal adjustment. Weak holiday hiring in general merchandise, sporting goods, and miscellaneous stores meant that there were fewer workers to lay off in January, resulting in seasonally adjusted employment gains for the month. Building material and garden supply stores added 14,000 jobs, reflecting continued strength in the housing market, and food stores also added 14,000 jobs.
Employment in construction continued to trend upward in January (24,000). About a third of the January increase was in heavy construction.
Within the financial activities industry, employment in securities, commodity contracts, and investments increased by 7,000 in January. Employment in education and health services was up over the month. Outpatient care centers and hospitals added 6,000 and 5,000 jobs, respectively.
In the professional and business services sector, accounting and bookkeeping, which includes tax preparation services, lost 18,000 jobs in January (after seasonal adjustment). Employment in temporary help services edged down (-21,000).
Manufacturing employment edged down (-11,000). Small job losses continued throughout most of nondurable goods. Employment in durable goods manufacturing was about unchanged in January. Employment fell by 5,000 in mining. The decline was concentrated in nonmetallic minerals, such as stone, sand, and gravel.
These data come from the Current Employment Statistics program. The above data are seasonally adjusted. Data for December 2003 and January 2004 are preliminary and subject to revision. To learn more, see The Employment Situation: January 2004 (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 04-120.