63.4%: Labor Force Participation at Trump-Era High As Labor Force Grows by 574,000

By Susan Jones | February 7, 2020 | 8:03am EST
(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - President Donald Trump never misses an opportunity to plug the strong employment picture for which he takes credit, and today he earned more bragging rights:

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy created 225,000 jobs in January, well above estimates. BLS says notable job gains occurred in construction, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

The number of employed Americans dipped in January to 158,714,000 -- down 89,000 from December's record high.

The unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.6 percent in January.

But the labor force participation rate reached a Trump-era high of 63.4 percent, up from 63.2 percent in December, because the civilian labor force increased by 574,000 in January, after accounting for annual adjustments to population controls, BLS said.*

In January, the civilian non-institutional population in the United States was 259,502,000. That included all people 16 and older who did not live in an institution (such as a prison, nursing home or long-term care facility).

Of that civilian non-institutional population, 164,606,000 were participating in the labor force, meaning that they either had a job or were actively seeking one during the last month. This resulted in a labor force participation rate of 63.4 percent, the highest it's been since June 2013.

The number of Americans counted as not in the labor force -- meaning they did not have a job and were not looking for one -- dropped by 442,000 in January (after population control adjustments). This number hovers around 95,000,000, partly because of retiring baby boomers.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.2 percent), teenagers (12.2 percent), Whites (3.1 percent), Blacks (6.0 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics (4.3 percent) showed little or no change over the month.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up by 5,000 from +256,000 to +261,000, and the change for December was revised up by 2,000 from +145,000 to +147,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 7,000 higher than previously reported.

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $28.44. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent.

The current economic expansion, now in its 11th year, became the longest in U.S. history on July 1, 2019, beating the previous record that lasted from March 1991 through March 2001.

President Trump bragged about the economy Tuesday night in his State of the Union speech:

In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom — a boom that has rarely been seen before.  There’s been nothing like it.  We have created 5.3 million new jobs and, importantly, added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs — something which almost everyone said was impossible to do.  But the fact is, we are just getting started.

Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades and growing for blue-collar workers, who I promised to fight for.  They’re growing faster than anyone else thought possible.  Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps. The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office.  And we are considered, far and away, the hottest economy anywhere in the world.  Not even close.

Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in over half a century. African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low. More people are working now than at any time in the history of our country — 157 million people at work.

*(BLS explained that the January 2020 data includes updated population estimates developed by the Census Bureau's household survey. "Each year," BLS said, "the Census Bureau updates the estimates to reflect new information and assumptions about the growth of the population since the previous decennial census. The change in population reflected in the new estimates results from adjustments for net international migration, updated vital statistics, and estimation methodology improvements.")

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.




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