Payrolls increased 467,000 in the United States in January even as the unemployment rate edged up a tenth of a point to 4 percent.
The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate for nonfarm payroll gains came in below the average monthly increase of 555,000 in 2021, but exceeded forecasts.
Moreover, estimated payroll gains for December and November were revised upward a total of 709,000.
The jobless rate edged up in January as more people looked for jobs. The labor participation rate rose three-tenths of a point to 62.2 percent, but remained 1.2 points below February 2020.
Nonfarm payrolls have increased 19.1 million since April 2020. A record 6.6 million jobs were added in 2021. Still, payrolls remain 2.9 million below February 2020 and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
For January, 6.5 million people were counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work. Of those, 1.7 million have been out of work 27 weeks or longer.
Another 3.7 million people were counted among those working part-time because their hours were cut or they were unable to find full-time positions.
Payroll gains for January were spread out among a number of industry sectors. Employment increased 151,000 in leisure and hospitality, 86,000 in business and professional services, 61,000 in retail trades and 54,000 in transportation and warehousing. Payrolls increased 29,000 in local government education, 18,000 in health care and 16,000 in wholesale trades.
The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls shortened two-tenths of an hour to at 34.5 hours. The average manufacturing workweek edged down a tenth of an hour to 40.2 hours.
Average hourly earnings increased 23 cents to $31.63. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have increased 5.7 percent.