This continues the recovery of the labor market at a tempered rate, which means the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee should continue to let the economy grow and not raise interest rates.
In response to the January jobs numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs said: "When you look at these unemployment gaps and these earnings gaps, blacks have to have more education to make the same amount of money or get the same unemployment rate of whites who are less educated."
Last month's biggest job gains were in construction (36,000), food services and drinking places (31,000), health care (21,000), and manufacturing (15,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, professional and business services, and government, changed little over the month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for blacks increased (7.7%), while it decreased for whites (3.5%). The jobless rates for teenagers (13.9%), Hispanics (5.0%), adult men (3.9%), adult women (3.6%) and Asians (3.0%) showed little change.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in January and accounted for 21.5% of the unemployed.