U.S. payrolls gain 133K in January; jobless rate down to 6.6 percent

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. economy added less jobs than estimated in January as retailers cut back in hiring after the holidays and government employment dropped, as the unemployment rate surprisingly fell to 6.6 percent.

Payrolls in the world’s largest economy climbed by a seasonally adjusted 113,000 last month, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. The pace of job growth increased compared with the gain in December, which was revised upward by only 1,000 to 75,000, but was sharply below the average pace last year. The job gains in November was revised up by 33,000 to 274,000.

Hiring at retailers and government agencies fell by the most in more than a year. Construction and manufacturing industries comprised more than half the employment gains in January, while service-producers hired at a slower rate.

In a separate survey, the jobless rate dropped to 6.6 percent in January from 6.7 percent in the preceding month, according to the Labor Department.

The number of people employed and those who are part of labor force slightly increased. The so-called participation rate saw a marginal gain to 63 percent from 62.8 percent even as more people entered the workforce.

The U.S. Federal Reserve said that the unemployment rate “remains elevated”. Last month, the central bank said it will reduce its monthly bond-buying by $10bn to $65bn.

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