THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — JANUARY 2020
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 225,000 in January, and the unemployment rate
was little changed at 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Notable job gains occurred in construction, in health care, and in transportation and
This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household survey
measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics.
The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry.
For more information about the concepts and statistical methodology used in these two
surveys, see the Technical Note.
| Changes to The Employment Situation Data |
| Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual |
| benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors. In |
| addition, several changes have been made to household survey data, including |
| the annual update of population estimates. See the notes at the end of the |
| news release for more information. |
Household Survey Data
Both the unemployment rate, at 3.6 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at
5.9 million, changed little in January. (See table A-1. For information about annual
population adjustments to the household survey estimates, see the note at the end of
the news release and tables B and C.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.3 percent),
adult women (3.2 percent), teenagers (12.2 percent), Whites (3.1 percent), Blacks
(6.0 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics (4.3 percent) showed little or
no change over the month. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
Among the unemployed, the number of reentrants to the labor force increased by
183,000 in January to 1.8 million but was little changed over the year. (Reentrants
are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning
their job search.) (See table A-11.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.2 million,
was unchanged in January. These individuals accounted for 19.9 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)
After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the civilian
labor force rose by 574,000 in January, and the labor force participation rate edged
up by 0.2 percentage point to 63.4 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 61.2
percent, changed little over the month but was up by 0.5 percentage point over the year.
(See table A-1. For additional information about the effects of the population adjustments,
see table C.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.2 million, was
essentially unchanged in January. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time
employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were
unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)
The number of persons marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.3 million, changed
little in January. 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. They were not counted
as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey
for a variety of reasons, such as belief that no jobs are available for them (referred
to as discouraged workers), school attendance, or family responsibilities. Discouraged
workers numbered 337,000 in January, little changed over the month. (See Summary table A.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 225,000 in January, compared with an
average monthly gain of 175,000 in 2019. Notable job gains occurred in construction,
in health care, and in transportation and warehousing. (See table B-1. For information
about the annual benchmark process, see the note at the end of the news release and table A.)
In January, construction employment rose by 44,000. Most of the gain occurred in specialty
trade contractors, with increases in both the residential (+18,000) and nonresidential
(+17,000) components. Construction added an average of 12,000 jobs per month in 2019.
Health care added 36,000 jobs in January, with gains in ambulatory health care services
(+23,000) and hospitals (+10,000). Health care has added 361,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 28,000 in January. Job gains
occurred in couriers and messengers (+14,000) and in warehousing and storage (+6,000).
Over the year, employment in transportation and warehousing has increased by 106,000.
Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in January (+36,000). Over
the past 6 months, the industry has added 288,000 jobs.
Employment continued on an upward trend in professional and business services in January
(+21,000), increasing by 390,000 over the past 12 months.
Manufacturing employment changed little in January (-12,000) and has shown little movement,
on net, over the past 12 months. Motor vehicles and parts lost 11,000 jobs over the month.
Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade,
information, financial activities, and government, changed little over the month.
In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by
7 cents to $28.44. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by
3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees
were $23.87 in January, little changed over the month (+3 cents). (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.3
hours in January. In manufacturing, the average workweek remained at 40.4 hours, while
overtime edged down 0.1 hour to 3.1 hours. The average workweek of private-sector production
and nonsupervisory employees edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up by 5,000 from
+256,000 to +261,000, and the change for December was revised up by 2,000 from +145,000 to
+147,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were
7,000 higher than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports
received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from
the recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to the
November and December revisions.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 211,000 over the
last 3 months.
The Employment Situation for February is scheduled to be released on
Friday, March 6, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).
| Changes to Household Survey Data |
| Effective with this news release, two not seasonally adjusted series previously |
| displayed in Summary table A–persons marginally attached to the labor force and |
| discouraged workers–have been replaced with new seasonally adjusted series. The |
| new seasonally adjusted series are available in the BLS online database back to |
| 1994. Not seasonally adjusted data for persons marginally attached to the labor |
| force and for discouraged workers will continue to be published in table A-16. |
| These series are also available in the BLS online database back to 1994. |
| Persons marginally attached to the labor force and discouraged workers are |
| inputs into three alternative measures of labor underutilization displayed in |
| table A-15. Effective with this news release, data for U-4, U-5, and U-6 in |
| table A-15 reflect the new seasonally adjusted series. Changes to historical |
| data were negligible. Revised data back to 1994 are available in the BLS online |
| database. Not seasonally adjusted series for the alternative measures are |
| unaffected. |
| Effective with data for January 2020, occupation estimates in table A-13 |
| reflect the introduction of the 2018 Census occupation classification system |
| into the household survey. This occupation classification system is derived |
| from the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Historical |
| data have not been revised. Beginning with data for January 2020, occupation |
| estimates are not strictly comparable with earlier years. |
| In addition, industry estimates in table A-14 reflect the introduction of the |
| 2017 Census industry classification system, which is derived from the 2017 |
| North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The classification |
| changes are minor and do not involve re-classification of industries between |
| the broader industry sectors. |
| Beginning with data for January 2020, marital status estimates are not strictly |
| comparable with earlier years. Estimates of married persons now refer to those |
| in opposite-sex and same-sex marriages. Prior to January 2020, these estimates |
| referred only to those in opposite-sex marriages. Persons with a same-sex |
| spouse were previously classified in other marital status categories, such as |
| “women who maintain families.” These changes affect marital status estimates in |
| tables A-9 and A-10. (Note that not all marital status categories are presented |
| in these tables. BLS has not separately tabulated estimates for persons with an |
| opposite-sex spouse and persons with a same-sex spouse.) Historical data have |
| not been revised. |
Revisions to Establishment Survey Data
In accordance with annual practice, the establishment survey data released today
have been benchmarked to reflect comprehensive counts of payroll jobs for March 2019.
These counts are derived principally from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
(QCEW), which counts jobs covered by the Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax system. The
benchmark process results in revisions to not seasonally adjusted data from April 2018
forward. BLS revised seasonally adjusted data from January 2015 forward. In addition,
both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted data for some series incorporate other
revisions prior to 2015.
The total nonfarm employment level for March 2019 was revised downward by 514,000
(-505,000 on a not seasonally adjusted basis), or -0.3 percent. The absolute average
benchmark revision over the past 10 years is 0.2 percent.
The over-the-year change in total nonfarm employment for 2019 was revised from
+2,108,000 to +2,096,000 (seasonally adjusted). Table A presents revised total nonfarm
employment data on a seasonally adjusted basis from January to December 2019.
All revised historical establishment survey data are available on the BLS website at
www.bls.gov/ces/data/home.htm. In addition, an article that discusses the benchmark
and post-benchmark revisions and other technical issues is available at
Table A. Revisions to total nonfarm employment, January to December 2019, seasonally adjusted (Numbers in thousands) --- | | | Level | Over-the-month change |- Year and month | | As | | | As | | As |previously | Difference| As |previously| Difference | revised |published | | revised |published | --- | | | | | | 2019 | | | | | | | | | | | | January......... | 150,134 | 150,587 | -453 | 269 | 312 | -43 February........ | 150,135 | 150,643 | -508 | 1 | 56 | -55 March........... | 150,282 | 150,796 | -514 | 147 | 153 | -6 April........... | 150,492 | 151,012 | -520 | 210 | 216 | -6 May............. | 150,577 | 151,074 | -497 | 85 | 62 | 23 June............ | 150,759 | 151,252 | -493 | 182 | 178 | 4 July............ | 150,953 | 151,418 | -465 | 194 | 166 | 28 August.......... | 151,160 | 151,637 | -477 | 207 | 219 | -12 September....... | 151,368 | 151,830 | -462 | 208 | 193 | 15 October......... | 151,553 | 151,982 | -429 | 185 | 152 | 33 November........ | 151,814 | 152,238 | -424 | 261 | 256 | 5 December(p)..... | 151,961 | 152,383 | -422 | 147 | 145 | 2 --- (p) = preliminary.
Civilian noninstitutional population
Civilian labor force
Not in labor force
NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Estimates for the above race groups (White, Black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.
|Dec.-Jan. change, after
Civilian noninstitutional population
Civilian labor force
Not in labor force
(1) This Dec.-Jan. change is calculated by subtracting the population control effect from the over-the-month change in the published seasonally adjusted estimates.
NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
- Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
- Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
- Employment Situation Frequently Asked Questions
- Employment Situation Technical Note
- Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age
- Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age
- Table A-3. Employment status of the Hispanic or Latino population by sex and age
- Table A-4. Employment status of the civilian population 25 years and over by educational attainment
- Table A-5. Employment status of the civilian population 18 years and over by veteran status, period of service, and sex, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-6. Employment status of the civilian population by sex, age, and disability status, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-7. Employment status of the civilian population by nativity and sex, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-8. Employed persons by class of worker and part-time status
- Table A-9. Selected employment indicators
- Table A-10. Selected unemployment indicators, seasonally adjusted
- Table A-11. Unemployed persons by reason for unemployment
- Table A-12. Unemployed persons by duration of unemployment
- Table A-13. Employed and unemployed persons by occupation, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-14. Unemployed persons by industry and class of worker, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization
- Table A-16. Persons not in the labor force and multiple jobholders by sex, not seasonally adjusted
- Table B-1. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail
- Table B-2. Average weekly hours and overtime of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted
- Table B-3. Average hourly and weekly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted
- Table B-4. Indexes of aggregate weekly hours and payrolls for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted
- Table B-5. Employment of women on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted
- Table B-6. Employment of production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)
- Table B-7. Average weekly hours and overtime of production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)
- Table B-8. Average hourly and weekly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)
- Table B-9. Indexes of aggregate weekly hours and payrolls for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)
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