Nonfarm payroll gained 467,000 jobs in January, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is close to the average monthly gain of 555,000 in 2021.
January’s report also included significant revisions to November and December’s numbers — 647,000 jobs were added in November and 510,000 jobs were added in December (up from the 249,000 and 199,000 previously reported).
Nonfarm employment has won back 19.1 million jobs since April 2020 and is now 2.9 million jobs away from its pre-pandemic level.
Unemployment rates hold steady
Unemployment rates changed little in January, with the overall rate coming in at 4.0%, representing 6.5 million unemployed people. There were also no significant changes in rates among worker groups for the month:
- Adult men: 3.8% (3.6% in December)
- Adult women: 3.6% (3.6% in December)
- Teenagers: 10.9% (10.9% in December)
- Black/African American: 6.9% (7.1% in December)
- Hispanic/Latino: 4.9% (4.9% in December)
- Asian: 3.6% (3.8% in December)
- White: 3.4% (3.2% in December)
Pandemic impacts on employment strengthen
The number of job leavers jumped to 952,000 in January, temporary layoffs increased to 959,000, and permanent jobs losers changed little at 1.6 million.
Long-term unemployment (jobless for 27 weeks or longer) fell to 1.7 million, accounting for 25.9% of the total unemployed population. Meanwhile, short-term unemployment (jobless for less than five weeks), went up to 2.4 million, representing 37% of the unemployed. The labor force participation rate changed little at 62.2%.
The pandemic’s effects on the labor force intensified in January. After steadily trending downward, the number of employees who teleworked due to the pandemic increased from 11.1% to 15.4%. Those unable to work because of business closure or loss nearly doubled in January, jumping from 3.1 million to 6.0 million. People who couldn’t look for work due to the pandemic also increased for the month, rising from 1.1 million to 1.8 million.
Leisure and hospitality again leads job growth
Among the major industries, leisure and hospitality gained the most jobs in January, increasing employment by 151,000. Most of those jobs (108,000) were in food services and drinking places.
Other industries with notable job gains included:
- Professional and business services (+86,000)
- Retail trade (+61,000)
- Transportation and warehousing (+54,000)
- Local government education (+29,000)
- Health care (+18,000)
- Wholesale trade (+16,000)
Other industries — including construction, mining, and manufacturing — showed little change for the month.
Average hourly earnings for private nonfarm employees continued to climb, increasing by $0.23 to reach $31.63 in January. Over the past year, this average has gone up 5.7%.