A monthly look at Employment and Income in the USA
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 113,000 in January and upward revisions in November and December added 34,000 jobs. November’s total non-farm employment was revised upward to 274,000. The unemployment rate decreased from 6.7% to 6.6% while the civilian labor force rose by 499,000. The private sector gains show the recovery is still on track. Employment gains averaged 182,000 jobs per month in 2013. It remains difficult to find information on government jobs which decreased by 12,000 in January, now included in the main BLS summary. Continued losses of government jobs are key to understanding the state of the recovery. The official unemployment rate is at 6.6% with the civilian labor force edging up to 63%. Since December 2012, federal government employment has decreased by over 25,000, with the additional loss of 12,000 in January (9,000 cut from the US Postal Service). The continuing uncertainty in Congress, fighting over the debt ceiling, will have further adverse consequences – both domestically and on the USA’s reputation worldwide.