U.S. added 49,000 jobs in January while unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent

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Updated: March 6, 2021

The United States employers added 49,000 jobs in January while unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, the Labor Department said on Friday.

The latest numbers show there is a return growth to the labor market after one-month dip, but economy continues to be hampered by high levels of coronavirus infections, deaths and precautions across the country.

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In January, the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent, and the number of unemployed persons decreased to 10.1 million.

“Although both measures are much lower than their April 2020 highs, they remain well above their pre-pandemic levels in February 2020 (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively), the Labor Department said.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates declined over the month for adult men (6.0 percent), adult women (6.0 percent), Whites (5.7 percent), and Hispanics (8.6 percent).

The jobless rates changed little for teenagers (14.8 percent), Blacks (9.2 percent), and Asians (6.6 percent).

Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff decreased in January to 2.7 million.

This measure is down considerably from the recent high of 18.0 million in April but is 2.0 million higher than its February level, the Department noted.

It added that the number of permanent job losers, at 3.5 million, changed little in January but is 2.2 million higher than in February.

The number of reentrants to the labor force decreased in January to 2.0 million. (Reentrants are persons who previously worked but were not in the
labor force prior to beginning their job search.)

In January, the number of persons jobless less than 5 weeks decreased to 2.3 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 4.0 million, was about unchanged in January and accounted for 39.5 percent of the total unemployed.

“After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, both the civilian labor force and the number of employed persons changed little in January. At 61.4 percent, the labor force participation rate was about unchanged over the month but is 1.9 percentage points lower than its
February level. The employment-population ratio, at 57.5 percent in January, changed little over the month but is 3.6 percentage points lower than in February,” the Labor Department said.

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