Labor Force Participation Increases as Unemployment Rate Ticks Up

By Ali Meyer | February 6, 2015 | 11:05 AM EST

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The labor force participation rate increased from 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent in January as the number of people not in the labor force declined from 92,898,000 in December to 92,544,000 in January, and the unemployment rate ticked up from 5.6 percent to 5.7 percent.

The labor force participation rate is the percentage of those in the civilian noninstitutional population who participated in the labor force by either having a job or actively seeking one in the past four weeks.

BLS employment statistics are based on the civilian noninstitutional population, which consists of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home.

ype="node" title="Labor Force Participation Rate

In December, according to BLS, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population was 249,027,000. In January, it climbed to 249,723,000, an increase of 696,000. Among that civilian noninstutional population of 249,723,000, 157,180,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one. That was an increase of 1,051,000 from the 156,129,000 who participated in the labor force in December.

The 157,180,000 participating in the labor force in January equaled 62.9 percent of the 249,723,000 civilian noninstitutional population—thus, the labor force participation rate was 62.9 percent.

The BLS has tracked the labor force participation rate since 1948. Since then, it hit its historical peak in January through April 2000, when it was 67.3 percent. The 62.9 percent participation rate in January was 4.4 percentage points below that peak.

Another 92,544,000 did not participate in the labor force. These Americans did not have a job and had not actively sought one for four weeks. This group was down 354,000 from the 92,898,000 who were not in the labor force in December.

Of the 157,180,000 who did participate in the labor force in January, 148,201,000 had a job and 8,979,000 did not have a job but were actively seeking one--making them the nation’s unemployed.

The 8,979,000 job seekers were 5.7 percent of the 157,180,000 actively participating in the labor force during the month. Thus, the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.

The number of unemployed and employed both increased in January. The number of unemployed individuals climbed from 8,688,000 in December to 8,979,000 in January, an increase of 291,000. The number of employed people climbed from 147,442,000 in December to 148,201,000 in January, an increase of 759,000.

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