U.S. Economy Adds 157K Jobs in January

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January. In 2012, employment growth averaged 181,000 per month. In January, job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade, while employment edged down in transportation and warehousing.

Employment in retail trade rose by 33,000 in January, compared with an average monthly gain of 20,000 in 2012. Within the industry, job growth continued in January in motor vehicle and parts dealers (+7,000), electronics and appliance stores (+5,000), and clothing stores (+10,000). Employment in construction increased by 28,000. Nearly all of the job growth occurred in specialty trade contractors (+26,000). Since reaching a low in January 2011, construction employment has grown by 296,000, with one-third of the gain occurring in the last 4 months. However, the January 2013 level of construction employment remained about 2 million below its previous peak level in April 2006.

Health care continued to add jobs in January (+23,000). Within health care, job growth occurred in ambulatory health care services (+28,000), which includes doctors' offices and outpatient care centers. This gain was partially offset by a loss of 8,000 jobs in nursing and residential care facilities. Over the year, health care employment has increased by 320,000.
Employment increased in wholesale trade (+15,000) in January, with most of the increase occurring in its nondurable goods component (+11,000). Since the recent low point in May 2010, wholesale trade has added 291,000 jobs. Manufacturing employment was essentially unchanged in January and has changed little, on net, since July 2012. 
In January, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours. The manufacturing workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.6 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory
employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $23.78. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1 percent. In January, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $19.97.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +161,000 to +247,000, and the change for December was revised from +155,000 to +196,000. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses since the last published estimates and the monthly recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to these revisions.

BLS | Nuno Fontes | nuno@tradingeconomics.com
2/1/2013 1:42:58 PM