The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported this morning that employment rose by 243,000 jobs in January. The unemployment rate also dipped for the fifth month in a row to 8.3%. This beat economist's expectations that unemployment would actually rise. In addition to initial January results, November and December employment numbers were also adjusted, adding another 60,000 jobs.
The private sector once again accounted for job gains during January, while the public sector dropped 12,000. These job losses were seen at the local and state levels (except education) and by the US Postal Service. Within the private sector, 257,000 jobs were gained in January. The largest increases were seen in professional and business services (+70,000), leisure and hospitality (+44,000), and manufacturing (+50,000). Other industries seeing growth last month were health care, retail, construction, and mining. However, it was noted that employment in the information industry declined, mainly from the loss of jobs in the motion picture and sound recording industry.
Along with the preliminary report for January, the BLS issued its final estimate of job gains for November to 157,000 jobs, up from last month's revised 100,000. December's preliminary estimate was also adjusted up 3,000 to 203,000 jobs gained. These revised numbers bring the total number of jobs added to the US economy to 1.82 million jobs in 2011, nearly twice as many as were seen in 2010.