US Unemployment Rate Edges Up to 5.7%


US jobless rate increased to 5.7 percent in January of 2015 from 5.6 percent in the previous month as more unemployed started looking for work.

The civilian labor force rose by 703,000 in January, after accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls. The labor force participation rate rose by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent, following a decline of equal magnitude in the prior month. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, increased by 435,000 in January, and the employment-population ratio was little changed at 59.3 percent.  The number of unemployed persons, at 9.0 million, was little changed in January. 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers (18.8 percent) increased in January. The jobless rates for adult men (5.3 percent), adult women (5.1 percent), whites (4.9 percent), blacks (10.3 percent), Asians (4.0 percent), and Hispanics (6.7 percent) showed little or no change.

In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.8 million. These individuals accounted for 31.5 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 828,000. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged in January at 6.8 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. 

In January, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 358,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. 

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.6 hours in January. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 41.0 hours, and factory overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.8 hours. 

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 12 cents to $24.75, following a decrease of 5 cents in December. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.2 percent. In January, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $20.80. 

US Unemployment Rate Edges Up to 5.7%


BLS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
2/6/2015 1:54:12 PM