February 5, 2021

January 2021 Jobs Report

Unemployment Rate: 6.3 percent

Jobs Created: 49,000

Employment and Unemployment

  1. The Department of Labor reported the unemployment rate decreased 0.4 percentage point to 6.3% in January.

  2. Nonfarm jobs increased by 49,000 in January after declining in December.

  3. In November and December, job creation was lower than first reported. The department revised the change in nonfarm jobs for those months down by a combined 159,000 jobs.     

  4. The U-6 unemployment rate, a broader measure that includes part-time and discouraged workers, decreased by 0.6 percentage point to 11.1% in January.

  5. DOL bases monthly jobs reports on a survey of businesses and a survey of households. The survey data relate to the pay period or calendar week containing the 12th day of the month. The report generally will not reflect labor market changes near the end of the month.

  6. As the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. generally declined in the second half of January, a couple states eased the restrictions they had imposed on businesses. A few states had curfews or stay-at-home orders in place during the month, and some others had advisories.

Labor Force Participation

  1. The labor force participation rate, the share of people employed or looking for work, ticked down 0.1 percentage point to 61.4%.


  1. In January, average hourly earnings for all employees in private nonfarm jobs increased by $0.06 to $29.96.

Issue Tag: Labor