The latest jobs numbers were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, February 5, with much information to glean about the pandemic’s impact on key economic sectors.
The Bureau of Labor Statistic compiles information from two monthly surveys: a household survey that measures the labor force via demographic characteristics and an establishment survey that measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry.
Here are the highlights of the report:
- Overall, the economy added 49,000 jobs.
- There were gains in professional and business services and education
- There were marked losses in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.
- In January, the share of employed persons who teleworked because of the pandemic edged down to 23.2%.
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.
- Leisure and hospitality: there were significant cuts in this sector in December (-536,000). The decline in January was 61,000. Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 3.9 million, or 22.9 percent over the past year.
- Retail: after adding 135,000 jobs in December, retail lost 39,000 jobs in January. Digging beneath the surface there were gains in certain retail sectors like food and beverage, clothing, and health and personal care stores.
- Health care: Healthcare has been hard hit by the pandemic, losing 542,000 jobs since one year ago. This sector declined by 30,000 in January.
Professional and business services: this sector added 97,000 jobs in January. The areas of biggest gains include management and technical consulting services, computer systems design, and scientific research and development.
- Transportation and warehousing: this sector declined by 28,000 in January, and has sustained an overall loss of 105,000 jobs over the year.
- Manufacturing: this sector has been growing steadily and there was little change overall, perhaps signaling a stall in growth.
- Education has been affected by the pandemic and normal seasonal buildup and layoffs have been changed. In January, employment increased in local government education (+49,000), state government education (+36,000), and private education (+34,000).
The relatively low level of growth in the jobs market might serve as ammunition for ongoing stimulus talks in Washington, D.C., as Congress weighs a round of new aid and personal payments to individuals.
Will these trends continue or change as we continue to endure the pandemic? Check back for our next summary of the jobs report.