January Labor Market Report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released their January 2021 Employment Situation Report and we wanted to share some key labor market updates.

The past year has been a turbulent time for businesses and workers. The pandemic has impacted all industries in one way or another. The labor market is slowly improving, but at a slower pace than many job seekers and business owners would like. Here are some of the key takeaways:


Unemployment Rate

The US unemployment rate fell very slightly in January 2021. The overall unemployment rate was 6.3%, a 0.4% decrease from the prior month. This is a better number than we saw during much of 2020, but is still far below the pre-pandemic unemployment rate of 3.5% that was reported in February 2020. There are currently 10.1 million unemployed individuals in the United States. There was a decrease in the number of unemployed people on temporary layoff (also known as furlough).


Temporary Labor Employment Rates

Employment in Professional and Business services experienced notable growth in January with an increase of 97,000 workers. It is interesting to note that temporary help services accounted for the majority of that gain (81,000 of the 97,000). Temporary employment rates have soared throughout the pandemic, in response to fluctuating demand and general economic uncertainty.If your business isn’t ready to jump-start regular hiring yet, consider using temporary labor! Finding on-demand labor for your business shouldn’t be a hassle. Faveo makes hiring short-term help easy so you can operate with flexibility and efficiency.


Transportation and Warehousing Employment Rates

Employment in transportation and warehousing professions declined by 28,000 in January. The job losses occurred primarily in warehousing and storage (down 17,000) and in couriers and messengers (down 14,000). However these two subsections of the industry did actually see growth during the pandemic, unlike many industries and job categories. Employment rates in these categories are higher than pre-pandemic rates reported in February 2020 by 97,000 jobs (warehousing and storage) and 137,000 jobs (couriers and messengers).


Construction Employment Rates

Construction employment rates saw a minor decrease, down by 3,000 jobs, after 8 consecutive months of growth. Some seasonal variance in the industry is normal, as winter can be a more hazardous time to build. Construction employment rates should bounce back in the coming months and resume growth.


Labor Market Outlook

Coronavirus vaccination is underway across the United States. As more doses are made available and more people are able to get vaccinated, the labor market is expected to improve. Vaccination for the general public is anticipated to start in spring or early summer depending on the state. Once this occurs, industries like hospitality, travel, and event services will start rebounding.

The BLS does expect there to be significant job growth throughout the next decade. Their Employment Prediction report released in the fall predicted that there will be 6 million new jobs by 2019, as compared to pre-pandemic employment data from 2019. The labor market may have hit a slow period with 2020 and early 2021, but growth is on the horizon. If you’re currently unemployed, sign up for Faveo to earn money and develop your skills now! If you’re a business owner, take advantage of the flexibility offered by Faveo’s short-term staffing services so that you can be ready for big projects while remaining cautious with your hiring practices.

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