Housing MarketReal Estate

U.S. economy added 225K jobs in January

The unemployment rate inched forward to 3.6%

The U.S. economy added 225,000 jobs in January, boosted by mild weather, and the employment rate ticked up from a five-decade low as more people tried to enter the labor force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate rose to 3.6% from 3.5% in the prior month, according to the report. There were 5.9 million unemployed people in the nation, rising from 5.8 million in December.

The jobless rates for groups – including men at 3.3%, women at 3.2%, teenagers at 12.2%, whites at 3.1%, blacks at 6%, Asians at 3% and Hispanics at 4.3% – all showed little or no change over the month.

The number of long-term unemployed persons held its ground at 1.2 million in January, which accounted for 19.9% of the unemployed.

Average hourly earnings climbed 3.1% from a year earlier, gaining 7 cents to $28.44. The average workweek for all employees held steady at 34.3 hours.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment in November was revised up to 261,000 from 256,000, the report said.  Nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised to 147,000 jobs, up from 145,000.

With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 7,000 higher than previously reported.

In January, the majority of job gains came from increases in construction, healthcare, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.

Here are some of the areas which showed notable changes in January:

  • Employment in construction: Increased in by 44,000 jobs
  • Employment in healthcare: Increased by 36,000 jobs
  • Employment in transportation and warehousing: Increased by 28,000 jobs
  • Employment in leisure and hospitality: Increased by 36,000 jobs
  • Employment in professional and business services: Increased by 21,000 jobs

“The January jobs report was stronger than expected, with 225,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate at 3.6%,” said Joel Kan, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Last month’s increase in construction employment (44,000 jobs) was a positive development for housing, as the homebuilding sector has been challenged by labor shortages and high costs.”

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