Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January, and the unemployment rate edged up to 4.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in several industries, including leisure and hospitality, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing.
Household Survey Data
Both the unemployment rate, at 4.0 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 6.5 million, edged up in January. The impact of the partial federal government shutdown contributed to the uptick in these measures. Among the unemployed, the number who reported being on temporary layoff increased by 175,000. This figure includes furloughed federal employees who were classified as unemployed on temporary layoff under the definitions used in the household survey.
The headline jobs number at 304 thousand for January was well above consensus expectations of 158 thousand, however the previous two months were revised down 70 thousand, combined. The unemployment rate increased to 4.0%, due to government employees on furlough being counted as unemployed in the household survey (but jobs counted in the establishment survey). Overall this was a strong report.