U.S. December Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.3% in January

0
33



The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent in January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+49,000). The labor market continued to reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it.



U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics;

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — JANUARY 2021

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.

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.

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. See the note

at the end of the news release and tables B and C for information about annual

population adjustments to the household survey estimates. See the box note at the end

of this news release for more information about how the household survey and its

measures were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates declined over the month for adult

men (6.0 percent), adult women (6.0 percent), Whites (5.7 percent), and Hispanics (8.6

percent). The jobless rates changed little for teenagers (14.8 percent), Blacks (9.2

percent), and Asians (6.6 percent). (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff decreased in January

to 2.7 million. This measure is down considerably from the recent high of 18.0 million

in April but is 2.0 million higher than its February level. The number of permanent

job losers, at 3.5 million, changed little in January but is 2.2 million higher than

in February. The number of reentrants to the labor force decreased in January to 2.0

million. (Reentrants are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force

prior to beginning their job search.) (See table A-11.)

In January, the number of persons jobless less than 5 weeks decreased to 2.3 million.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 4.0

million, was about unchanged in January and accounted for 39.5 percent of the total

unemployed. (See table A-12.)

After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, both the

civilian labor force and the number of employed persons changed little in January. At

61.4 percent, the labor force participation rate was about unchanged over the month

but is 1.9 percentage points lower than its February level. The employment-population

ratio, at 57.5 percent in January, changed little over the month but is 3.6 percentage

points lower than in February. (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 6.0 million,

changed little in January. This measure is 1.6 million higher than the February level.

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 not in the labor force who currently want a job, at 7.0 million,

edged down in January but is 1.9 million higher than in February. These individuals

were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during

the last 4 weeks or were unavailable to take a job. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.9 million,

decreased in January. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had

looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4

weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the

marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was little

changed over the month at 624,000. (See Summary table A.)

Household Survey Supplemental Data

In January, the share of employed persons who teleworked because of the coronavirus

pandemic edged down to 23.2 percent. These data refer to employed persons who

teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the last 4 weeks specifically

because of the pandemic.

In January, 14.8 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because

their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic–that is, they did not

work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the last 4 weeks due to the

pandemic. This measure is 1.1 million lower than in December. Among those who

reported in January that they were unable to work because of pandemic-related

closures or lost business, 12.7 percent received at least some pay from their

employer for the hours not worked, little changed from the previous month.

Among those not in the labor force in January, 4.7 million persons were prevented

from looking for work due to the pandemic; this measure is little changed from

December. (To be counted as unemployed, by definition, individuals must be either

actively looking for work or on temporary layoff.)

These supplemental data come from questions added to the household survey beginning

in May 2020 to help gauge the effects of the pandemic on the labor market. The data

are not seasonally adjusted. Tables with estimates from the supplemental questions

for all months are available online at

www.bls.gov/cps/effects-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic.htm.

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. See the note at the end of this news

release and table A for information about the annual benchmark process. See the box

note at the end of this news release for more information about how the establishment

survey and its measures were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.)

In January, employment in professional and business services rose by 97,000, with

temporary help services accounting for most of the gain (+81,000). Job growth also

occurred in management and technical consulting services (+16,000), computer systems

design and related services (+11,000), and scientific research and development

services (+10,000). These gains were partially offset by job losses in services to

buildings and dwellings (-14,000) and in advertising and related services (-6,000).

Since February, employment in professional and business services is down by 825,000.

In January, employment increased in local government education (+49,000), state

government education (+36,000), and private education (+34,000). In both public and

private education, pandemic-related employment declines in 2020 distorted the normal

seasonal buildup and layoff patterns. This likely contributed to the job gains in

January (after seasonal adjustment).

Wholesale trade continued to add jobs in January (+14,000). However, employment in

the industry is 263,000 below its February level.

In January, employment in mining increased by 9,000, with a gain of 8,000 in support

activities for mining. Mining employment is down by 133,000 since a recent peak in

January 2019, though employment in the industry showed little change for several

months prior to the uptick in January.

In January, employment in leisure and hospitality declined by 61,000, following a

steep decline in December (-536,000). In January, employment edged down in

amusements, gambling, and recreation (-27,000) and in accommodation (-18,000).

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend down (-19,000).

Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 8.2 million during March and April,

increased by 4.9 million from May to November, and then declined by 597,000 over

the past 2 months. Since February, employment in leisure and hospitality is down

by 3.9 million, or 22.9 percent.

Retail trade lost 38,000 jobs in January, after adding 135,000 jobs in December. Over

the month, employment declined in general merchandise stores (-38,000), electronics

and appliance stores (-29,000), and nonstore retailers (-15,000). These job losses

were partially offset by gains in food and beverage stores (+15,000), clothing and

clothing accessories stores (+15,000), and health and personal care stores (+14,000).

Employment in retail trade is 383,000 lower than in February.

Employment in health care declined by 30,000 in January. Within the industry, job

losses occurred in nursing care facilities (-19,000), home health care services

(-13,000), and community care facilities for the elderly (-7,000). Since February,

health care employment is down by 542,000.

Employment in transportation and warehousing declined by 28,000 in January and is

164,000 lower than in February. In January, job losses occurred in warehousing and

storage (-17,000) and in couriers and messengers (-14,000); however, employment in

these industries is higher than in February by 97,000 and 137,000, respectively.

Employment in air transportation increased by 15,000 over the month but is 105,000

lower than in February.

Employment in manufacturing changed little over the month (-10,000), following 8

months of growth. Within the industry, durable goods lost 17,000 jobs in January.

Employment in manufacturing is up by 803,000 since April but is 582,000 lower than

in February.

Construction employment changed little over the month (-3,000), after increasing

for 8 consecutive months. However, employment in the industry is down by 256,000

since February.

In January, employment changed little in other major industries, including

information, financial activities, and other services.

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls

increased by 6 cents to $29.96. Average hourly earnings of private-sector

production and nonsupervisory employees, at $25.18, changed little (+3 cents). The

large employment fluctuations over the past several months–especially in

industries with lower-paid workers–complicate the analysis of recent trends in

average hourly earnings. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by

0.3 hour to 35.0 hours in January. In manufacturing, the workweek also increased

by 0.3 hour to 40.4 hours, and overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average

workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls

increased by 0.2 hour to 34.4 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised down by

72,000, from +336,000 to +264,000, and the change for December was revised down

by 87,000, from -140,000 to -227,000. With these revisions, employment in November

and December combined was 159,000 lower 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.)

Table A. Revisions to total nonfarm employment, January to December 2020, 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 |           

—————————————————————————————

                 |           |           |           |           |          |           

       2020      |           |           |           |           |          |           

                 |           |           |           |           |          |           

January……… |  152,234  |  152,212  |      22   |    315    |    214   |   101

February…….. |  152,523  |  152,463  |      60   |    289    |    251   |    38

March……….. |  150,840  |  151,090  |    -250   | -1,683    | -1,373   |  -310

April……….. |  130,161  |  130,303  |    -142   |-20,679    |-20,787   |   108

May…………. |  132,994  |  133,028  |     -34   |  2,833    |  2,725   |   108

June………… |  137,840  |  137,809  |      31   |  4,846    |  4,781   |    65

July………… |  139,566  |  139,570  |      -4   |  1,726    |  1,761   |   -35

August………. |  141,149  |  141,063  |      86   |  1,583    |  1,493   |    90

September……. |  141,865  |  141,774  |      91   |    716    |    711   |     5

October……… |  142,545  |  142,428  |     117   |    680    |    654   |    26

November…….. |  142,809  |  142,764  |      45   |    264    |    336   |   -72

December(p)….. |  142,582  |  142,624  |     -42   |   -227    |   -140   |   -87

—————————————————————————————

   (p) = preliminary.

         Adjustments to Population Estimates for the Household Survey

Effective with data for January 2021, updated population estimates were incorporated

into the household survey. Population estimates for the household survey are developed

by the U.S. Census Bureau. Each year, the Census Bureau updates the estimates to

reflect new information and assumptions about the growth of the population since the

previous decennial census. The change in population reflected in the new estimates

results from adjustments for net international migration, updated vital statistics,

and estimation methodology improvements.

In accordance with usual practice, BLS will not revise the official household survey

estimates for December 2020 and earlier months. To show the impact of the population

adjustments, however, differences in selected December 2020 labor force series based

on the old and new population estimates are shown in table B.

The adjustments decreased the estimated size of the civilian noninstitutional

population in December by 476,000, the civilian labor force by 200,000, employment by

180,000, and unemployment by 20,000. The number of persons not in the labor force was

decreased by 277,000. The total unemployment rate, employment-population ratio, and

labor force participation rate were unaffected.

Data users are cautioned that these annual population adjustments can affect the

comparability of household data series over time. Table C shows the effect of the

introduction of new population estimates on the comparison of selected labor force

measures between December 2020 and January 2021. Additional information on the

population adjustments and their effect on national labor force estimates is

available at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cps-pop-control-adjustments.pdf.

Population controls for veterans, which are derived from a Department of Veterans

Affairs population model and are updated periodically, have also been updated with

the release of data for January 2021. Historical data have not been revised.

Table B. Effect of the updated population controls on December 2020 estimates by sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, not seasonally adjusted

(Numbers in thousands)

Category Total Men Women White Black or

African

Ameri-

can

Asian Hispanic or

Latino

ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

-476 -223 -252 -203 -45 -226 -187

Civilian labor force

-200 -100 -99 -46 -15 -135 -110

Participation rate

0 0 0 0 0.1 0 0

Employed

-180 -91 -89 -37 -14 -126 -99

Employment-population ratio

0 0 0 0.1 0 0 0.1

Unemployed

-20 -9 -10 -8 -1 -9 -12

Unemployment rate

0 0 -0.1 0 0 0 0

Not in labor force

-277 -123 -154 -157 -30 -91 -77

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.

Table C. December 2020-January 2021 changes in selected labor force measures, with adjustments for population control effects

(Numbers in thousands)

Category Dec.-Jan.

change, as

published

2021

population

control effect

Dec.-Jan. change, after

removing the

population control

effect(1)

Civilian noninstitutional population

-379 -476 97

Civilian labor force

-406 -200 -206

Participation rate

-0.1 0 -0.1

Employed

201 -180 381

Employment-population ratio

0.1 0 0.1

Unemployed

-606 -20 -586

Unemployment rate

-0.4 0 -0.4

Not in labor force

27 -277 304

(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.

Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

© 2021 Hotel News Resource



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here