The U.S. economy added 200,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, as the unemployment rate stayed at 4.1 percent, a 17-year low, in January for the fourth consecutive month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

The number of unemployed workers, 6.7 million, remained unchanged in January. However, there was movement in the jobless rates for major worker sectors in January.

The unemployment rate for African-American workers rose from 6.8 percent in December to 7.7 percent, while the rate for whites declined from 3.7 percent in December to 3.5 percent in January.

"The data for African Americans are highly erratic and it is likely that much of this change is driven by measurement error," said Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, "but it is nonetheless discouraging to see this reported jump."

The January unemployment rates for adult men (3.9 percent), adult women (3.6 percent), teenagers (13.9 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics (5.0 percent) changed scantly.

The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, reached 1.4 million in January vs. 1.5 million in December, and accounted for 21.5 percent of the unemployed vs. 22.9 percent in December.

Long-term unemployment has been trending downward: 25.5 percent in September, 25.0 percent in October and 23.9 percent in November.

BLS employment data of four consecutive months of 4.1 percent unemployment show a strengthening of the labor market, evidence of an expanding economy. The average hourly earnings for all workers employed on private nonfarm payrolls climbed by 9 cents to $26.74, during the past year, following an 11-cent rise in Dec., the BLS reports.

Average hourly earnings have grown by 75 cents, or 2.9 percent, as the average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 3 cents to $22.34 in Jan.

The employment-to-population ratio stayed at 60.1 percent in January for the third consecutive month. This data measures the ratio of the labor force now employed to the total working-age population.

U.S. nonfarm private sector hiring grew. Small businesses of 1-49 employees added 58,000 jobs in January vs. 50,000 in December, according to the ADP National Employment Report.

Firms of 50-499 workers increased payrolls by 91,000 jobs in Jan. compared with 99,000 jobs in December. Large companies of 500 or more employees hired 91,000 workers in January versus 41,000 in December.

"The job market juggernaut marches on," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, in a statement. "Given the strong January job gain, 2018 is on track to be the eighth consecutive year in which the economy creates over 2 million jobs. If it falls short, it is likely because businesses can't find workers to fill all the open job positions."

By employment sector and industry, service jobs grew 212,000 in Jan. versus 155,000 in December. Within that sector, the leading jobs creator was education/health services, adding 47,000 compared with 54,000 in December.

Professional/business services, and leisure and hospitality added 46,000 new jobs in January, respectively. The goods-producing sector added 22,000 jobs in January from 36,000 in December.

Natural resources and mining employers hired 1,000 workers in January. Construction employers hired 9,000 new workers versus a decline of 4,000 in December, while manufacturing grew 12,000 jobs in January compared with 40,000 in December.

"We've kicked off the year with another month of unyielding job gains," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. "Service providers were firing on all cylinders, posting their strongest gain in more than a year. We also saw robust hiring from midsize and large companies, while job growth in smaller firms slowed slightly."