The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 of a percentage point to 9.0 percent in January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little, with the addition of 36,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.
Employment rose in manufacturing and in retail trade, but was down in construction and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in most other major industries changed little over the month.
This was the second month in a row that the unemployment rate fell by four-tenths of a percentage point. The number of unemployed people decreased by about 600,000 in January to 13.9 million.
In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 8 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $22.86. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.9 percent. In January, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 10 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $19.34.
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