U.S. employers add robust 304K jobs; joblessness up to 4%

The US economy added 304,000 jobs in January a surprisingly strong month

The US economy added 304,000 jobs in January a surprisingly strong month

The Labor Department also revised the December jobs numbers by about 90,000 jobs, taking the tally from 312,000 to a still-strong 222,000.

"When you look at the inflation data, you haven't seen any downstream impacts on consumers", says Curt Long, chief economist with the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.

Interested in Jobs Report? The furloughed federal workers were still on the payroll that day, even though they were not getting paid.

Just over 55,000 federal employees filed jobless claims during the shutdown, but those employees will have to pay back any benefits after receiving backpay from the government opening back up.

Economists had expected 158,000 nonfarm payroll growth and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 3.9 percent. Some 426,000 were discouraged workers, who weren't looking for work because they believed no jobs are available for them, based on the BLS survey. It would also count contractors who did not work during this period as unemployed.

The number of employees working part-time for economic reasons spiked in January.

Job growth in January 2019 was surprisingly strong with payroll gains of 304,0000 and average hourly earnings growth remaining above 3% yr/yr for the fourth consecutive month, seemingly defying mounting concerns about global economic conditions, the government shutdown, and declines in various confidence surveys. The Department of Labor reports this morning that employers in this country added 304,000 jobs last month.

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The solid jobs report provided a note of reassurance that the economy remains mostly healthy and likely to shake off any effects of the shutdown.

That data would not show up in the jobs report, but as the federal government tries to replace its aging workforce, "that's the kind of harm that will build up over years", Chamberlain said.

The unemployment rate climbed to 4 percent from 3.9 percent, while the labor force participation rate rose slightly to 63.2 percent. The Labor Department calculates the unemployment rate by using a different survey - known as the household survey - where they literally knock on the doors of some people's homes and ask how many adults are employed and how many are unemployed.

Still, restaurants continued to hire at a faster rate than the overall economy.

The string of job growth underscored the long economic expansion since the Great Recession.

The numbers released Friday by the Department of Labor represent the largest monthly jobs increase in almost a year and continue a long running trend of 100 consecutive months of growth.

The Fed on Wednesday kept interest rates steady but said it would be patient in raising borrowing costs further this year.

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