WASHINGTON — Unemployment in the U.S. ticked down slightly in January as the nation added a small number of jobs.
The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3% as "the labor market continued to reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it," the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said.
Some 10.1 million people were unemployed last month, still above the 5.7 million who were out of work before the pandemic took hold in the U.S., the bureau reported. Unemployment in February 2020 was 3.5%.
The federal government noted job losses in January in several categories, including transportation and warehousing, health care, retail and leisure and hospitality.
In January, the professional and business services sector added 97,000 jobs, with temporary help services accounting for most of the gain (+81,000).
Job growth also occurred in management and technical consulting services (+16,000), computer systems design and related services (+11,000), and scientific research and development services (+10,000).
These gains were partially offset by job losses in services to buildings and dwellings (-14,000) and in advertising and related services (-6,000).
"In January, transportation and warehousing lost 28,000 jobs, including a loss of 17,000 in warehousing and storage. Couriers and messengers lost 14,000 jobs in January and 31,000 jobs in December, following an unusually large job gain in November (+72,000). Employment in air transportation increased by 15,000 in January but is down by 105,000 since February," BLS Commissioner William Beach said.