This morning's employment report from the Department of Labor showed non-farm payrolls of 157,000 were added in January, which is just below expectations of around 160,000 to be added. The unemployment rate edged up from 7.8% to 7.9%. Employment increased in retail trade, construction, health care and wholesale trade.
In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was about unchanged at 4.7 million and accounted for 38.1% of the unemployed. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 8.0 million, changed little in January. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. In January, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 366,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.