techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com February 21, 2019


Despite shutdown, USA employers add robust 304K jobs in January

03 February 2019, 05:44 | Hattie Nash

US employers added a robust 304,000 in January

US economy adds 304,000 jobs in January

The U.S. economy gained jobs for the 100th straight month, adding 304,000 jobs in January. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal and the Dow Jones both had expected an increase of 170,000.

The unemployment rate did rise in January to 4 percent from 3.9 percent, the Labor Department said, but mostly for a technical reason: The number of people counted as temporarily unemployed jumped 175,000, with most of that increase consisting of federal workers and contractors affected by the shutdown.

Another factor contributing to unemployment is the labor force participation rate, which has grown by half a percent since September and hit 63.2 percent in January-the highest in more than five years.

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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 central bank, which raised rates four times past year, did not raise rates and cited "global economic and financial developments" and low US inflation as reasons to be patient before changing rates again.

Manufacturing gained 13,000 jobs and mining added 7,000. We believe this to be the most important labor market development in recent years that explains the stronger-than-expected job growth and healthy but constrained wage gains.

China's economy is decelerating sharply and Italy's economy has entered recession, exacerbating fears that slower global growth will cut into USA exports.

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How did the shutdown affect jobs?

The numbers, released Friday by the Labor Department, show that much of the private sector was unphased by the shutdown that furloughed some 380,000 federal workers and forced about 420,000 to work without pay. And that one counted furloughed workers as employed, even if they were sitting at home and not collecting a paycheck.

Wall Street breathed a sigh of relief this month as policymakers sent strong signals they meant to pause, meaning investors could be in for an unwelcome surprise. Notable gains occurred in the retail sector (21,000), transportation and warehousing (27,000), and education and health services (55,000). But the government shutdown caused, you know, some delays in other economic reports.

There are few signs that employers will pull back on hiring in the next several months, but many economists still expect a slowdown toward the end of this year.

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