Job Growth Up 44 Percent in January, Says Report

Total nonfarm payroll employment gains increased by 44 percent to 227,000 jobs in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Economic Situation Report released on Friday, February 3, 2017.

“January’s strong jobs report was the highest nonfarm employment gain since 2016’s third quarter,” said Jay Rollins, owner of, a leading employment website. “The largest gains of the month occurred in retail, which added jobs among the clothing, electronic and home furnishings subsectors. Professional services, construction and the financial sector also performed well.” 

The retail trade sector added 46,000 jobs in January, while the sector’s unemployment rate sat at 5.8 percent. “The retail trade sector experienced some loss for most of the last quarter of 2016, losing 6,800 jobs in October and 12,900 jobs in November,” said Rollins. “The sector made up for those losses in December and January, gaining 33,500 and 45,900 jobs, respectively.”

Employment within construction increased by 36,000 jobs in January, with an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent. Over the last 12 months, the construction industry has gained 170,000 jobs.

The financial activities supersector gained 32,000 jobs, largely stemming from the finance and insurance sector. Over the last 12 months, the supersector has gained 190,000 jobs.

Across all sectors, the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were little changed in January, settling at 7.6 million and 4.8 percent.