The economy added 113,000 jobs in January—far below what is needed for recovery—and the nation’s unemployment rate was nearly unchanged at 6.6%, compared with December’s 6.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of long-term unemployed people (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 232,000 in January, but there were still 3.6 million long-term jobless workers. The AFL-CIO is urging Congress to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits, which House Republicans allowed to expire at the end of last year and the Senate failed to advance on Thursday. So far, 1.7 million jobless workers have lost benefits.
“Another month, another disappointing jobs report,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “It is absolutely shameful—and unprecedented--that Republicans in Congress continue to shut off the emergency unemployment aid lifeline under these conditions.”
AFL-CIO Government Affairs Director Bill Samuel added, "January's jobs numbers reflect what 1.7 million unemployed workers already know. Our economy isn't creating jobs fast enough to warrant cutting off emergency unemployment insurance. Meanwhile long-term unemployment has dropped but still remains staggeringly high. Congress should do its job so Americans can get back to work. That means renewing emergency unemployment insurance and passing job creating legislation now."
Last month, employment grew in construction (48,000 jobs), manufacturing (21,000) and professional and business services (36,000). Employment continued to fall (12,000 jobs) in the federal workforce, mostly (9,000) from the Postal Service.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (6.2%), adult women (5.9%), whites (5.7%), blacks (12.1%) and Latinos (8.4%) changed little in January.