Employment Update

January 2024

The American employment landscape is constantly changing. Keep up-to-date with the most recent trends with our monthly Employment Update. All figures are provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the America Staffing Association.

  • Acara Icon Workforce

    Unemployment rate​ held steady - 3.7%

    In January, the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent for the third month in a row, and ​the number of unemployed people was little changed at 6.1 million.​

  • Acara Icon briefcase

    Long-term unemployed remained unchanged

    The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.3​ million, was little changed in January. The long-term unemployed accounted for ​20.8 percent of all unemployed people. ​

  • Acara Icon Workforce

    Labor force participation ​ unchanged

    The labor force participation rate, at 62.5 percent, was unchanged in January, and ​the employment-population ratio, at 60.2 percent, was little changed. These measures​ showed little or no change over the year.​

  • Acara Icon earnings

    Average hourly earnings rose by $0.19​

    In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm ​payrolls rose by 19 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $34.55. Over the past 12 months,​average hourly earnings have increased by 4.5 percent. In January, average ​hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 13 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $29.66.​

  • Acara Icon Rejected

    Number of people working part time for economics reasons little changed​

    In January, the number of people employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.4 ​million, changed little. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time ​employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they ​were unable to find full-time jobs.​

  • Icon showing outlines of a home, dollar sign, and a plant

    People not in the labor force who currently want a job little changed​

    The number of people not in the labor force who currently want a job, at 5.8 ​million, was little changed in January. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks ​preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job.​

  • Acara Icon temp

    Temp penetration rate at 1.76%

    Temporary help employment was 1.76% of total nonfarm employment in January, down slightly from 1.80% in December 2023.​

  • Acara Icon people circles

    Temp help jobs decreased​

    Temporary help jobs in January decreased -7.0%, seasonally adjusted, from the same month last year.​

  • Acara Icon payroll

    Nonfarm payroll employment up​

    Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 353,000 in January, similar to the gain ​of 333,000 in December. Payroll employment increased by an average of 255,000 ​per month in 2023. ​

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Industry Trends

Acara summarizes the latest industry trends each month to keep you informed as you make decisions about the future of your business.

  • U.S. employees continue to feel more detached from—and less satisfied with—their employers.

    This means they are less likely to connect to their company’s mission and do not feel like their company cares about them as a person.​
    In 2023, 33% of employees were engaged in their work and workplace.​

  • Unengaged or disengaged employees account for approximately $1.9 trillion in lost productivity nationwide.​

    According to Gallup, clear expectations are critical to employee engagement. Employees need more clarity around what’s expected of them in the workplace.​

  • Labor Department’s New Independent Contractor Rule

    A new rule change under the Fair Labor Standards Act is set to take effect March 11, 2024. The rule concerns how independent contractors in the U.S. are classified.​
    According to SHRM, the final rule restores an earlier standard that required companies to weigh a variety of economic factors together to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.​
    The updated rule will likely most affect workers paid less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.​​
    Sen. Bill Cassidy has already said he will introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution to repeal the new rule.​

  • The DOL uses six metrics to determine a worker’s classification:​

    • The degree to which the employer controls how the work is done.
    • The worker’s opportunity for profit or loss.
    • The amount of skill and initiative required for the work.
    • The degree of permanence of the working relationship.
    • The worker’s investment in equipment or materials required for the task.
    • The extent to which the service rendered is an integral part of the employer’s business.

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