Report: The BLS Employment Situation — January 2021

In this monthly blog post we’ll report on BLS Employment Situation data as it is released, for these industries: construction, manufacturing (including durable and non-durable goods), retail trade, warehousing and storage, real estate rental and leasing services, professional and business services (including legal services, accounting and bookkeeping services, architectural and engineering services, computer systems design and related services, and scientific research and design services, administrative and support services, and administrative support services – employment services), health care, leisure and hospitality, and government.
You can always find the full Employment Situation report on the BLS website.

The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent in January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+49,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The labor market continued to reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In January, notable job gains in professional and business services and in both public and private education were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

JAN 2021 - BLS Employment Situation Blog Image

BLS Summaries by Industry

Construction: Construction employment changed little over the month (-3,000), after increasing for 8 consecutive months. However, employment in the industry is down by 256,000 since February.

Manufacturing: Employment in manufacturing changed little over the month (-10,000), following 8 months of growth. Within the industry, durable goods lost 17,000 jobs in January. Employment in manufacturing is up by 803,000 since April but is 582,000 lower than in February.

Retail Trade: Retail trade lost 38,000 jobs in January, after adding 135,000 jobs in December. Over the month, employment declined in general merchandise stores (-38,000), electronics and appliance stores (-29,000), and nonstore retailers (-15,000). These job losses were partially offset by gains in food and beverage stores (+15,000), clothing and clothing accessories stores (+15,000), and health and personal care stores (+14,000). Employment in retail trade is 383,000 lower than in February.

Warehousing and Storage: In January, job losses occurred in warehousing and storage (-17,000) and in couriers and messengers (-14,000); however, employment in these industries is higher than in February by 97,000 and 137,000, respectively.

Real Estate Rental and Leasing Services: N/A

Professional and Business Services: In January, employment in professional and business services rose by 97,000, with temporary help services accounting for most of the gain (+81,000). Job growth also occurred in management and technical consulting services (+16,000), computer systems design and related services (+11,000), and scientific research and development services (+10,000). These gains were partially offset by job losses in services to buildings and dwellings (-14,000) and in advertising and related services (-6,000). Since February, employment in professional and business services is down by 825,000.

Health Care: Employment in health care declined by 30,000 in January. Within the industry, job losses occurred in nursing care facilities (-19,000), home health care services (-13,000), and community care facilities for the elderly (-7,000). Since February, health care employment is down by 542,000.

Leisure and Hospitality: In January, employment in leisure and hospitality declined by 61,000, following a steep decline in December (-536,000). In January, employment edged down in amusements, gambling, and recreation (-27,000) and in accommodation (-18,000). Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend down (-19,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 8.2 million during March and April, increased by 4.9 million from May to November, and then declined by 597,000 over the past 2 months. Since February, employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 3.9 million, or 22.9 percent.

Government: N/A

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