The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent in January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+49,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The labor market continued to reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In January, notable job gains in professional and business services and in both public and private education were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.
Household Survey Data
In January, the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent, and the number of unemployed persons decreased to 10.1 million. Although both measures are much lower than their April 2020 highs, they remain well above their pre-pandemic levels in February 2020 (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively). (See table A-1.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment changed little in January (+49,000) but is below its February 2020 level by 9.9 million, or 6.5 percent. In January, notable job gains in professional and business services and in both public and private education were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing. (See table B-1.)
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