62.9%: Labor Force Participation Rate Improves in January
Those Not in Labor Force Declines by 736,000
The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday released its first look at employment since Donald Trump became president, and although that report does not reflect actual Trump policy changes, it does include the period just before Trump became president and was tweeting about jobs saved. According to BLS, the labor force participation rate improved in January, increasing two-tenths of a point to 62.9 percent, its best showing in four months. BLS said 152,081,000 Americans were employed in January, close to last month’s record 152,111,000. At the same time, the number of Americans not in the labor force went in the right direction, dropping to 94,366,000, which is 736,000 fewer than last month’s record 95,102,000. In January, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 254,082,000. Of those, 159,716,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.
The 159,716,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.9 percent of the 254,082,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population. According to BLS, total nonfarm payroll employment rose 227,000, and the unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 4.8 percent. The Labor Department's Employment Situation report is released monthly, and it reflects data gathered in the pay period that includes the 12th of the month. So today's report reflects the situation as it was shortly before Trump was sworn in on Jan. 20. However, the January report undoubtedly reflects anticipation of Trump’s policies, as he was already discussing his intention to repeal Obamacare as well as taking credit for auto companies expanding in the U.S. (Jan. 9 tweets) during the period covered by today’s report.
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