Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release


Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the
data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
                                
                          Statement of
                                                                
                           Keith Hall
                          Commissioner
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                
                    Friday, February 4, 2011


     The unemployment rate declined from 9.4 to 9.0 percent in
January, and nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+36,000).
Since a recent low point in February 2010, nonfarm employment has
increased by 1.0 million.  In January, employment increased in
manufacturing and retail trade, while job losses occurred in
transportation and warehousing and in construction.  Employment
in most other major industries changed little.
     
       Manufacturing employment grew by 49,000 over the month and
has increased by 161,000 since a recent low point in December
2009.  Over the period, durable goods industries accounted for
the entire increase.  In January, employment increased in motor
vehicles and parts (+20,000), fabricated metal products
(+13,000), machinery (+10,000), and computer and electronic
products (+5,000).
     
     Retail trade added 28,000 jobs over the month with a notable
increase in clothing stores (+15,000).  Employment in retail
trade has increased by 123,000 since its recent low point in
December 2009.
     
     Employment in transportation and warehousing decreased by
38,000 in January.  A decline of 45,000 jobs in courier and
messenger services offset a gain of similar magnitude in
December.
     
     Construction employment continued to decline in January
(-32,000).  Severe weather in some parts of the country may have
impacted employment and hours in this industry.  Nonresidential
specialty trade contracting accounted for much of the
over-the-month employment decline in construction.
     
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 8 cents in January to $22.86.  Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.9 percent.  From
December 2009 to December 2010, the Consumer Price Index for All
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.4 percent.
     
     Turning now to some measures from our household survey, the
number of unemployed persons fell by about 600,000 in January,
and the unemployment rate declined by 0.4 percentage point to 9.0
percent.  The labor force, at 153.2 million, was unchanged after
adjustment for updated population controls.  Among the
unemployed, 43.8 percent had been jobless for 27 weeks or more in
January.
     
     The number of persons working part time in January who would
have preferred full-time employment dropped by about half a
million to 8.4 million, the lowest level in a year.
     
     Before closing, I would note there were routine annual
adjustments to the data from our two surveys.  The establishment
survey data released today reflect the incorporation of annual
benchmark revisions.  Each year, we re-anchor our sample-based
survey estimates to full universe counts of employment, primarily
derived from administrative records of the unemployment insurance
tax system.  Household survey data for January reflect updated 
population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.  Further 
information about the impact of these adjustments is contained in 
our news release and on our Web site.

     In summary, the unemployment rate declined to 9.0 percent in
January, and nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+36,000).
     
     
     
     

Last Modified Date: February 04, 2011
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