U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs in January and hiring was stronger over the past two years than previously thought, providing reassurance that the job market held steady while economic growth sputtered.
The mostly upbeat Labor Department report included one discouraging sign: the unemployment rate rose to 7.9% from 7.8% in December. The unemployment rate is calculated from a survey of households, while job gains come from a survey of employers.
The hiring picture over the past two years looked better after the department's annual revisions. Those showed employers added an average of roughly 180,000 jobs per month in 2012 and 2011, up from previous estimates of about 150,000. And hiring was stronger at the end of last year, averaging 200,000 new jobs in the final three months. (AP)
Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement on the January employment report.
"Our nation's economy continues to recover, but there is still work to be done. To give our economy the running room it needs to get up to speed, we should replace cuts that hurt the middle class with a balanced approach that combines smart cuts with revenue measures that close tax loopholes and ask the wealthy to contribute their fair share. For too many Nevadans and Americans throughout our nation, the recovery isn't a reality until they can rely on a steady paycheck. We will not rest until we make that future a reality."
U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) issued the following statement:
"An increase in jobs added on a national scale is welcome news, but the fact remains that Nevada's broader jobless rate hovers at 20 percent. Nevada's families and businesses are desperate for solutions, yet Washington has failed to make the difficult decisions necessary for economic recovery. Just this week, I introduced a lands bill that will create hundreds of jobs in the Silver State. With measures like these, I am confident that we can return to a time of greater optimism. In the meantime, Washington needs to work together to solve the budget crisis now, and finally provide certainty for the new year," said Senator Dean Heller.
On January 28, 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report showing that Nevada's broader jobless rate averaged 20.3 percent in 2012. This unemployment rate, called the U-6 rate, includes discouraged workers who have stopped looking for jobs and underemployed part-time workers seeking full-time positions.
Alan B. Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, issued the following statement today on the employment situation in January.
While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we pursue the policies needed to build an economy that works for the middle class as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.
Today's report is a reminder of the importance of the need for Congress to act to avoid self-inflicted wounds to the economy. The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable Federal budget in a responsible way that balances revenue and spending, and replaces the sequester, while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protect our most vulnerable citizens.
With today's release, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has finalized its benchmark adjustment, and the latest data show that the economy has now added private sector jobs for 35 straight months, and a total of 6.1 million jobs have been added over that period. In 2012, private businesses added 2.2 million payroll jobs. The first report of private sector job growth for January is that businesses added 166,000 jobs. Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 157,000 jobs last month. The average first report of monthly job growth in 2012 was 142,000; that is now revised up to 181,000 jobs per month.
The household survey showed that the unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in January, up from 7.8 percent in December. The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 63.6 percent in January. Over the last 12 months, the unemployment rate has fallen by 0.4 percentage point, and the labor force participation rate has been essentially unchanged.
According to the establishment survey, in January employment rose notably in retail trade (+32,600), construction (+28,000), health care and social assistance (+27,600), professional and business services (+25,000), and restaurants and bars (+17,100). Manufacturing gained 4,000 jobs in January. The manufacturing sector has added about a half-million jobs over the last three years, the most for any such period since 1996. Also of note, in the last two years the construction sector has gained nearly 300,000 jobs, with one-third of that gain occurring in the last four months. Government lost 9,000 jobs in January, including 5,000 Federal government jobs, and 4,700 jobs in local government education. The local government education sector has now lost 339,400 jobs since its recent peak in November 2009.
As the Administration stresses every month, the monthly employment and unemployment figures can be volatile, and payroll employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.
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