Modest Job Gains in January Enough to Sustain Growth



January’s modest job gains should be enough to sustain steady U.S. growth amid global challenges to the economic outlook, according to the latest U.S. jobs numbers.

The job count increased by 151,000 in January after three prior months of strong job gains averaging about 280,000 jobs per month. The unemployment rate edged lower to 4.9%.

January’s letup was a result of fewer jobs in three sectors: transportation/warehousing/utilities, government, and household-related services. This was in addition to ongoing weakness in energy-related industries.

See the table summary for more detail.

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[bs_col class=”col-sm-6″] Impact @Home: If you are looking for work, recognize that the weakest prospects are in energy industries, export manufacturing, and traditional information-related jobs affected by new digital trends. See the @Home post at this link for more about job prospects by metro market.

The best prospects by industry are currently in construction (especially specialty trades) and restaurants/food service. Prospects also remain good—despite slowing in January—in health care, and in various professional and business fields. Retail jobs showed improving opportunity in January.

[bs_col class=”col-sm-6″] Impact @Work: Although the overall jobs numbers suggest sustained growth, they do not translate into better prospects for all businesses. Weakness is increasingly concentrated in energy-dependent places in the Mid-West, while strength is emerging in the West and Southeast.

For more:

  • See the last look at state and local job trends at this link.


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