The number of employed people remained stable in January despite a drop in the
unemployment rate, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of
Statistics on Thursday.
While the unemployment rate for January fell to
6.5 percent, a 0.3% drop from December’s figures, that measure can be misleading
because it only reflects the percentage of employed people within the labor
force. Labor-force participation, which measures how much of the population is
actively seeking work, fell to 63.4% from 63.7% the previous month, belying the
fall in the unemployment rate.
“The number of employed people in January
2013 reached 3.396 million, unchanged from December, 2012,” the statistics
bureau said. In fact, the percentage of the overall population over the age of
15 that was employed fell from 59.4% in December to 59.3% in
Some good news shone through the data, however.
those who were employed, the percentage who worked full time (35 hours a week or
more) rose from 76.7% in December to 77.3% in January. Those figures reflected a
rise of 20,000 full-time employees over the previous month, the report
The unemployment rate was equal for men and women, though the
number of men participating in the overall labor force was about 14% higher than
the number of women.