The U.S. economy added just 113,000 total nonfarm payroll jobs in January and the unemployment rate edged slightly lower to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Since October, the unemployment rate has decreased by 0.6 percentage point.
Economists were estimating January payroll job gains of 185,000 jobs in January following December’s disappointing employment report which saw only 74,000 nonfarm jobs in December, the lowest number since October 2011.
In January the labor force participation rate edged up to 63.0 percent from 62.8 percent in December which was the lowest participation number since March 1978.
December’s non-farm payroll number was revised higher by only 1,000 from 74,000 to 75,000.
Employment growth averaged 194,000 per month in 2013.
According to today’s January employment report, construction added 48,000 jobs over the month, surpassing a decline of 22,000 in December in a cold month.
Job gains occurred in manufacturing which saw an increase of 21,000. Professional and business services had gains of 36,000.
On Wednesday ADP private payroll processor showed that 175,000 private sector jobs were added in January, slightly below the estimate of 180,000 according to briefing.com