Nonfarm payroll employment jumped by 517,000 jobs in January, after the addition of 260,000 in December (upward revision), according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The latest job gains surpass 2022’s monthly average +401,000 jobs.  

Leisure and hospitality leads growth, temp services adds jobs

For another month, most of the job growth was in leisure and hospitality — the industry gained 128,000 jobs in January, above its monthly average of +89,000 jobs in 2022. The industry is now behind its February 2020 level by just 495,000 jobs (2.9%).

Other notable job gains in January included:

  • Professional and business services (+82,000)
  • Government (+74,000)
  • Health care (+58,000)
  • Retail trade (+30,000)
  • Construction (+25,000)

After declining in recent months, temporary help services gained back nearly 26,000 jobs in January. 

Unemployment rate settles at 3.4%

At 3.4%, the unemployment rate changed little in January, accounting for 5.7 million unemployed people. 

Unemployment rates for major worker groups inched up or down for the month: 

  • Adult men: 3.2% (3.1% in December)
  • Adult women: 3.1% (3.2% in December)
  • Teenagers: 10.3% (10.4% in December)
  • Black: 5.4% (5.7% in December)
  • Hispanic: 4.5% (4.1% in December)
  • Asian: 2.8% (2.4% in December)
  • White: 3.1% (3.0% in December)

Unemployment situations change little over the month

The number of people experiencing unemployment for less than 5 weeks dipped down to 1.9 million in January, while long-term unemployment (jobless for 27 weeks or more) remained at 1.1 million for the month, representing 19.4% of the total unemployed. The labor force participation rate inched up to 62.4%.

A total of 4.1 million people worked part time for economic reasons in January. There were 5.3 million people not currently in the labor force who wanted a job — among them, 1.4 million were marginally attached to the labor force and 342,000 were considered discouraged workers. These figures changed little from December.

Now averaging $33.03, hourly earnings for private nonfarm employees rose $0.10 (0.3%) in January, bringing the 12-month increase to 4.4%. The average workweek went up by 0.3 hour to reach 34.7 hours last month.