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The Employment Situation – January 2019

Updated : May 9th, 2019

The Employment Situation - January 2019

In January, the total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 as compared to December which had an increase of 312,000 jobs. The unemployment rate has increased from 3.7 percent to 4 percent and this could be attributed to the Shutdown which lasted for 35 days from December 22, 2018, until January 25, 2019.

Household Survey Data

There has been a 0.3 percent increase in the unemployment rate and the number of people unemployed now stands at 6.5 million. Those that were impacted due to the partial federal government shutdown were reported as being on temporary layoff which has increased by 175,000. This figure includes those that were furloughed federal employees that were classified as unemployed during the temporary layoff.

Group Unemployment Rate

(January 2018)

Unemployment Rate

(January 2017)

Men 3.7 3.9
Women 3.6 3.6
Whites 3.5 3.5
Blacks 6.8 7.7
Asians 3.1 3.0
Hispanics 4.9 5.0

When it comes to determining the unemployment of various groups, you can get a fair understanding of how the country has fared during the same period, in the previous year.

Unemployment Rate Among Various Groups

There was a little change in the number of long-term unemployed at 1.3 million and this accounted for 19.3 percent of unemployed individuals. The labor force participation rate was at 63.2 percent and the employment to population ratio is at 60.7 percent. These measures are up 0.5 percent over the year. Another important mention is that the number of people employed part-time has increased by one-half million to 5.1 million in January. Also, in January, 1.6 million people were marginally attached to the labor force which was unchanged from a year earlier. There were 426,000 discouraged workers in January and the remaining 1.2 million people were marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work because of school attendance and family responsibilities.

Establishment Survey Data Total

The nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January as compared to the average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. While in January, the employment grew in several industries like warehousing, transportation, construction, health care, and hospitality. There are no discernible impacts of the partial federal government shutdown for estimates based on earnings, hours or employment.

The employment rose in the hospitality and leisure by 74,000 while the job gains were mostly from food services and drinking places (37,000) and amusements, recreation and gambling which increased by 32000. Over the past year, leisure and hospitality alone added 410,000 jobs.

Another major contributor to job gains is through the special trade contractors which increased in both nonresidential (19,000) and residential components (15,000). Employment rose in the heavy and civil engineering construction by 10,000 and residential building by 9,000. In the past 12 months, 338,000 jobs were added in the construction sector.

In the health care industry, employment increased by 42,000 while the largest contributors were ambulatory health care services (22,000) and hospitals (19,000). Health care added 368,000 jobs over the past year and over the month, employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 27,000. Retail trade employment edged up by 21,000 while general merchandise stores lost 12,000 jobs.

The mining industry has added 64,000 jobs over the year as the employment increased by 7,000 in January. Professional and business services continue to trend up over the month and it has increased by 546,000 in the last 12 months. Manufacturing has seen an uptrend with 261,000 jobs being added over the year. There has been an increase of 20,000 jobs in durable goods while there is a decline of 7,000 in non-durable goods.

When it comes to employment in the Federal government, it has remained unchanged in January with an increase in 1,000 jobs. Federal employees on furlough during the partial government shutdown were counted as employed because they worked or received pay for the period that included 12th of the month.

Revised Data

The total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from 176,000 to 196,000 and the change for December was revised from 312,000 to 222,000. Based on these revisions, the employment gains in November and December combined were 70,000 more. This makes the job gains an average of 241,000 per month over the past three months.

This suggests that though there has been an increase in the number of jobs in several industries, the main job gainers in the industry were leisure and hospitality, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing.

  1. I was permanently severanced from my job due to a Co. Reorg & received my last severance pay last week. I called UE & was told that I should now do my application online since I will no longer be getting funds & still without a job & that this coming Sunday regardless of knowing if I will or will not get benefits yet that I should still file a weekly claim in case of UE back pay.
    So my question is, do I still have to report 4 jobs applied to within this week, even if I do not know if I will be approved/denied for benefits until possibly next week anyway?

    1. Lynda,

      You should continue to report the job applications as long as you’ve been asked to do so. There will be a “Waiting Period” and the first payment will take about 7-10 days after which they’ll flow much quicker. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  2. I tried to transfer from one state to another. When I left Montana I was told there would be no problem transferring. When I arrived in North Carolina I had trouble reaching the area manager by phone. When he finally called me back he said to meet him for lunch to discuss when and where I would be working. He did not show up for lunch. Then he never returned any of my calls. I went PA to visit a friend a few weeks later and tried there. I met with the hiring manager and was told there should not be a problem doing the transfer since I was still in the system. I called the store a few times and they said it was still pending. Then I was terminated without even a phone call. Am I eligible for unemployment and if so do I file in Montana or North Carolina. I still have a Montana drivers license but I am living in NC.

    1. Stacey,

      As long as you were unemployed involuntarily, you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please consider applying.

  3. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  4. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

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