Washington, D.C. – The U.S. added 151,000 jobs in January of 2016, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Job gains occurred in several industries, led by retail trade, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing. Employment declined in private educational services, transportation and warehousing, and mining.
Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were down by 1.1 million and 0.8 percentage point, respectively.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged in January, at 2.1 million, and has shown little movement since June.
Retail trade added 58,000 jobs in January, following essentially no change in December. Employment rose in general merchandise stores (+15,000), electronics and appliance stores (+9,000), motor vehicle and parts dealers (+8,000), and furniture and home furnishing stores (+7,000). Employment in retail trade has increased by 301,000 over the past 12 months, with motor vehicle and parts dealers and general merchandise stores accounting for nearly half of the gain.
Employment in food services and drinking places rose in January (+47,000). Over the year, the industry has added 384,000 jobs.
Health care continued to add jobs in January (+37,000), with most of the increase occurring in hospitals (+24,000). Health care has added 470,000 jobs over the past 12 months, with about two-fifths of the growth occurring in hospitals.
Manufacturing added 29,000 jobs in January, following little employment change in 2015. Over the month, job gains occurred in food manufacturing (+11,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), and furniture and related products (+3,000).
Employment in financial activities rose in January (+18,000). Job gains occurred in credit intermediation and related activities (+7,000).
Private educational services lost 39,000 jobs in January due to larger than normal seasonal layoffs.
Employment in transportation and warehousing decreased by 20,000 in January. Most of the loss occurred among couriers and messengers (-14,000), reflecting larger than usual layoffs following strong seasonal hiring in the prior 2 months.
Employment in mining continued to decline in January (-7,000). Since reaching a peak in September 2014, employment in the industry has fallen by 146,000, or 17 percent.