U.S. Employment Situation – January 2018

February 2, 2018

U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today (2nd February 2018) that employment numbers for nonfarm payroll increased by 200,000 in January. However, unemployment rate remains unchanged at 4.1%. Employment continued to trend up in construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.

 Construction added  36,000 or 18% of the 200,000 jobs in January, with most of the increase occurring among specialty trade contractors (26,000). Employment in residential building construction continued to trend up over the month adding 5,000 new jobs. Year Over year, construction employment has increased by 226,000.

 Employment in food services and drinking places was responsible for 15.5% or 31,000 of new jobs  in January. The industry has added 255,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

 Health care added 21,000 new employment for the month of January with over 60% of that number occurring in hospital. That compares to the 24,000 new jobs added per month in 2017 within the health care sector.

 In January, employment in manufacturing remained on an upward trend, increasing by 15,000. Durable goods industries added 18,000 jobs. Manufacturing has added 186,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

 Meanwhile, employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, professional and business services, and government, changed little over the month.

 The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls declined by 0.2 hour to 34.3 hours in January. In manufacturing, the workweek declined by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours, while overtime remained at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours.

 In addition, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.74, following an 11-cent gain in December. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 75 cents, or 2.9 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 3 cents to $22.34 in January.