Total U.S. jobs
National economy added 353,000 jobs in January
Job growth in the national economy maintained its momentum as the calendar turned to 2024. Employers added a net 353,000 jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis in January, according to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That followed an upward-revised gain of 333,00 jobs in December, and represented the largest two-month increase in nearly a year.
January marked the 37th consecutive month of job growth, a period during which the national economy added more than 15.1 million jobs. As a result of the steady gains, total U.S. employment stood nearly 5.4 million (or 3.5%) above the February 2020 pre-pandemic peak.
Job growth continued across both the private and public sectors in January. The private sector added a net 317,000 jobs in January, while government employment increased by 36,000.
Within the private sector, the health care and social assistance sector led the way with a net increase of 100,000 jobs in January.
The professional and business services sector added a net 74,000 jobs in January, while retailers added 45,000 jobs.
Manufacturers added 23,000 jobs in January, while construction firms added a net 11,000 jobs.
The leisure and hospitality sector (+11,000 jobs) was a surprising weak spot in January, given the robust increase in the topline number. Within this industry grouping, the eating and drinking place (-2,400) and accommodations (-3,100) sectors lost jobs in January, while the arts, entertainment and recreation (+16,200) sector registered a moderate gain.