US employers added 304,000 jobs in January, soaring past Wall Street's expectations for an increase of 165,000 jobs, seemingly brushing off a 35-day government shutdown as investors braced for mixed results. There were no discernible impacts of the partial federal government shutdown on the estimates of employment, hours, and earnings from the establishment survey.
While the new jobs report was higher than expected, the jobs report for December was adjusted down by 70,000 jobs from 312,000 jobs created that month to 222,000.
On a monthly basis, from December to January, wages barely rose, though. Another issue to consider was that the ADP payrolls report had sort of tipped the hat to predict big jobs gains in January. This suggests that the measured number of unemployed will fall in February, lowering the unemployment rate below 4%. Last week's applications for unemployment benefits came in at 253,000, above from the 49-year low hit earlier in the month but still low by historical standards.
Job seekers line up to apply during "Amazon Jobs Day", a job fair being held at the Amazon.com Fulfillment Center in Fall River, Massachusetts, U.S., August 2, 2017. You saw the unemployment rate go to 4 percent. And that one counted furloughed workers as employed, even if they were sitting at home and not collecting a paycheck. The increase was because some furloughed federal workers and government contractors took on part-time jobs to make ends meet when they not paid during the shutdown.
Still, restaurants continued to hire at a faster rate than the overall economy.
The December jobs report was a series of numbers that range from fantastic to fantastical.
With key data from the Commerce Department, including the fourth-quarter gross domestic product report, still delayed because of the government shutdown, the employment report is the clearest sign that the economy remains on solid ground.
Construction employment rose by 52,000. Hiring was likely boosted by mild temperatures in January.
The leisure and hospitality sector, construction, and health care, led the job gains.
Manufacturing payrolls increased by 13,000, slowing from December's 20,000 increase.
Professional and business services grew by 30,000 new jobs, Transportation and warehousing added 27,000 and retail trade added an additional 21,000.