February 06, 2012
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 243,000 in January, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3 percent.
In January, private-sector employment grew by 257,000, with the largest employment gains in professional and business services (+70,000), leisure and hospitality (+44,000), and manufacturing (+50,000).
The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point in January to 8.3 percent; the rate has fallen by 0.8 point since August. The number of unemployed persons declined to 12.8 million in January.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 8.2 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, 2.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged 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.
These data are from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program and the Current Population Survey. Data from both surveys are seasonally adjusted, and CES data for the most recent two months are preliminary. To learn more, see "The Employment Situation — January 2012," (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL-12-0163. More information about the procedures and definitions used to estimate the unemployment rate is available in the publication How the Government Measures Unemployment.