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US temp jobs down slightly in January after upward trend

February 01 2013

The number of U.S. temp jobs fell by 8,100 in January after trending up since September, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The temporary help penetration rate — temporary employment services jobs as a percent of total nonfarm employment — pulled back to 1.90 percent in January from 1.91 percent in December.

January’s decrease in temporary help services jobs comes after increases in the past three months:

  • 9,100 in December
  • 26,500 in November
  • 9,000 in October

Total U.S. nonfarm employment rose by 157,000 jobs in January, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the BLS. However, the increase is lower than the 196,000 jobs added in December and 247,000 jobs added in November.

As a note, the BLS updated its seasonal adjustment factors in January as part of its annual benchmarking process. Numbers for past months have been updated. The seasonally adjusted December jobs number was 41,000 higher than previously announced, according to the BLS. And the November jobs gain was revised upward by 86,000 from the initially reported number.

Even as the U.S. added jobs in January, the unemployment rate edged up to 7.9 percent in January from 7.8 percent in December.

The college-level unemployment rate — which can serve as a proxy for professional employment — fell to 3.7 percent in January from 3.9 percent in December.

Click on chart below to enlarge.

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