In January, total nonfarm payroll employment was about unchanged (-17,000) for a total of 138.1 million workers, after edging up in November (60,000) and December (82,000), the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In 2007, payroll employment increased by an average of 95,000 jobs per month. Both construction and manufacturing employment continued to decline in January, and health care employment rose.

Construction employment decreased by 27,000 in January and has fallen by 284,000 since its peak in September 2006. Over-the-month job losses occurred in residential building (-10,000) and residential specialty trade contractors (-18,000). Nonresidential building lost 1,000 jobs, while nonresidential specialty trade contractors gained 9,800 jobs.

Manufacturing lost 28,000 jobs in January. Over the month, small declines occurred among many durable and nondurable goods industries. Manufacturing has lost 269,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

The wholesale trade lost roughly 5,000 jobs in January - durable goods jobs declined 2,800 and nondurable goods jobs declined 2,700.