The U.S. Bureau of 0Labor Statistics (BLS) is reporting that total nonfarm payroll employment was basically unchanged in January 2021, increasing by only 49,000 from December. According to the BLS the improvement in the labor markets reflects the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In January, notable job gains in professional and business services in both the public and private sector education. Those gains were offset by declines in leisure and hospitality, health care, transportation and warehousing. Employment in government declined. In January, the unemployment rate declined by 0.4% point to 6.3%, and the number of unemployed persons decreased to 10.1 million. Although both measures are much lower than their April 2020 highs, they remain well above their pre-pandemic levels in February 2020 (3.5% and 5.7 million, respectively).
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