By DON McINTOSH
The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 3.4% in January, according to the latest monthly report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s the lowest it’s been since May 1969.
The Feb. 3 BLS report found a gain of 517,000 jobs in January, including 58,000 in health care, 25,000 in construction, 23,000 in transportation and warehousing, and 19,000 in manufacturing. The report is based on Census surveys and counts people as unemployed if they are looking for work but are not employed.
Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate is 62.4%. That’s the number of people who are working or looking for work, compared to the total civilian population 16 and older. It’s still below the pre-pandemic February 2020 level of 63.3%.
BLS also found that average hourly earnings were $33.03, up 4.4% over the January 2022, and that the work week averaged 34.7 hours.