February 07, 2014

Unemployment down slightly in January

Feb. 10, 2014 – Unemployment was down slightly in January, with the constructions and business services sectors seeing the most employment growth, according to NAFCU Chief Economist David Carrier.

Carrier said the Federal Reserve will keep a close eye on employment numbers as they consider how much to taper their asset purchase program this year.

Carrier analyzed numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in a Macro Data Flash. He said the data "showed a disappointing 113,000 new jobs in January and the poor December numbers only had minor upward revisions."

"The labor force participation rate increased to 63.0 percent after a decline in the previous month," he continued. "The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.6 percent, even as 523,000 individuals entered the labor force."

The construction sector saw an uptick of 48,000 jobs, with the professional and business services sector coming in second with an increase of 36,000 jobs. The retail sector, however, had a decrease of 12,900 jobs. Local, state and federal government jobs all decreased, by 11,000, 6,000 and 12,000 jobs, respectively.