By Kellie Lail

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its January 2023 Report, so let’s take a look at how employment fared over the last month.

The great news is: In January, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 517,000 people. The unemployment rate in January declined to 3.4%, falling just below the narrow window of 3.5%-3.7% since March of 2022. The number of unemployed persons decreased to 5.7 million people in January. Leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, government, and health care garnered the largest share of new jobs over the last month.

The good news is: The number of people not in the labor force who do currently want a job grew to 5.3 million in January, remaining above the pre-pandemic, February 2020 level of 5.1 million people. Keep in mind, these 5.3 million people were not counted as unemployed because they were unavailable to take a job or were not actively looking for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. In January, average hourly earnings for private non-farm payroll jobs increased by 0.3%, or 10 cents, to $33.03. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.4%.

The bad news is: The number of long-term unemployed, people who were without a job for 27 weeks or more, was essentially unchanged from December of 2022 at 1.1 million, accounting for 19.4% of all unemployed persons. The number of discouraged workers who believed there were no jobs available to them remained little changed from December at 342,000 people.

Keep in mind: With the number of unemployed persons remaining relatively steady over recent months, competition in the job market continues to build. To attract the best candidates that are looking to work in your industry, you must show them that you are the most competitive employer in terms of salary, benefits, career stability, remote or flexibility options, and career growth opportunities.

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