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US economy adds 227,000 jobs in January; unemployment rate rises to 4.8%

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 227,000 in January, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.8% from 4.7%, according to the U.S. Labor Department's latest employment report.

Econoday data made available by Bloomberg indicated that the consensus estimate for month-over-month job gains was an increase of 175,000 jobs. The unemployment rate was expected to remain 4.7%.

Employment gains averaged 183,000 per month over the past three months.

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The labor force participation rate rose to 62.9% and the employment-population ratio increased to 59.9%.

The Labor Department revised the November 2016 job additions downward to 164,000 from 204,000 and adjusted the December 2016 jobs gains upward to 157,000 from 156,000.

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $26.00, following a 6-cent increase in December 2016. The average workweek for employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in January.

The number of long-term unemployed — those jobless for 27 weeks or more — was essentially unchanged at 1.9 million and accounted for 24.4% of the unemployed.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, also known as involuntary part-time workers, was little changed at 5.8 million.

There were 1.8 million people marginally attached to the labor force in January, down by 337,000 from a year ago. The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines this group as people who were not in the labor force but who wanted jobs and had looked for employment during the prior 12 months. Among those marginally attached, there were 532,000 discouraged workers in January, little changed from a year earlier.

In January, retail trade added 46,000 jobs in the month, construction added 36,000 jobs and financial activities added 32,000 jobs. Employment rose by 23,000 jobs in professional and technical services, 30,000 jobs in food services and drinking industry and 18,000 jobs in the healthcare sector.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, changed little over the month.

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