The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that non-farm employment increased by nearly 250,000 jobs in January, resulting in a national unemployment rate of 8.3 percent; a 0.2 rate drop over December 2011. Private industry sectors experienced across-the-board job growth, led by gains in the professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing industries. Government employment halted its recent fall and finished the month at a steady rate.
Household Survey Data show the number of jobless workers to have declined to 12.8 million for the month. The unemployment rates for both adult men (7.7 percent) and blacks (13.6 percent) fell in January. Every other group experienced little change with adult women registering an unemployment rate of 7.7 percent, teenagers at 23.2 percent, whites at 7.4 percent, Hispanics at 10.5 percent, and Asians at 6.7 percent.
Job losses and completed temp jobs declined to 7.3 million in January while those having been unemployed for at least 27 weeks was stagnant at 5.5 million, composing 42.9 percent of jobless persons. Those working part-time due to cut-backs in hours or inability to find full-time work stalled at 8.2 million for the month. Persons not currently in the labor force but who wanted and were available to work and had looked for a job over the past year remained at 2.8 million.
These “marginally attached” individuals are not considered unemployed because they had not searched or applied for jobs in the month prior to the survey. Of the marginally attached persons, 1.1 million were discouraged workers who decline to look for work because they feel none are available. The other 1.7 million individuals had not actively searched for employment for at least 4 weeks due to other reasons such as attending school or tending to family responsibilities.