iHire BLS Jobs Report Summary

The January 2021 Jobs Report: What is the Current US Employment Situation?


The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly overview of the US employment situation and the data for January looks similar to that of December as COVID-19 continues to suppress the economy. The labor department jobs report examines a range of US jobs data to gauge the overall health of the US economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.


The January jobs report shows small improvements in the labor market. Unemployment fell by 0.4% to 6.3% and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 49,000, while the number of unemployed persons decreased to 10.1 million (compared to 5.8 million in February).


Unemployment Rate


Number of Unemployed Persons



Nonfarm Payroll Unemployment


Here are some other key statistics from the labor department jobs report:

  • 23.2% percent of employed persons teleworked specifically due to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s a slight decreased from 23.7% in December.
  • 14.8 million people were unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic. This number has decreased by 1.1 million since December.
  • 4.7 million people who were not in the labor force in January were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic. This number has not changed significantly since December.

Although January brought job gains in some sectors, they were offset by job loss in other industries hiring in 2021. Here’s how industries were impacted in January:


Change in Employment by Industry


Overall, the labor department jobs report suggests that the economy is still sluggish due to the impact of the pandemic and increasing COVID-19 cases.

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By Sarah Ballow | February 05, 2021