Payroll employment grew by 157K jobs in January down from December’s revised pace. January’s report included strong upward revisions to the previous two months growth. December’s gain was revised up to 196K from an initially reported 155K and November’s gain was revised even higher, to 247K from an initially reported 161K. Despite the strong gains, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% as new entrants into the labor force outpaced jobs created.
The service sector continues to be the primary driver behind jobs gains, adding 121K jobs in January, down from 152K the previous month. The goods producing sector continues to see gains as well adding 36K jobs over the month. Government continues to drag on jobs growth, shedding 9K jobs over the month. Over half of the losses were in public education. Over the past 12 months the government has shed 74K jobs.
The unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.9% from 7.8% in December. The labor force participation rate remained unchanged in January at 63.6%. The household survey implemented new population controls in December, which makes comparison to previous months difficult.
Read the BLS report.