304k Jobs Added to U.S. Economy in January

304k Jobs Added to U.S. Economy in January

304k Jobs Added to U.S. Economy in January

The Labor Department released its first monthly jobs report for 2019, showing the USA added 304,000 jobs to the economy. Still, economists polled by Reuters only expected payroll to grow by 165,000 jobs in January.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.1% from January, which is slower than the last few months, but still 3.2% over the year - well above inflation.

The private sector economy kept on hiring in January despite the government shutdown that lasted 35 days.

MARTIN: So explain how it seems to indicate that the government shutdown, which affected 800,000 federal workers, that had virtually no effect on the job market. That was less than the blockbuster 312,000 first reported, and it followed the revised 176,000 jobs added in November.

But the rate of job growth in the industry is also bringing up labor costs as companies increase wages to lure workers that are increasingly hard to find. Both furloughed federal workers and those working without pay were counted as having payroll jobs, though government contractors or other employees out of work because of the lapse in funding were not included in the count of payroll jobs, the Labor Department said.

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January marks the 100th straight month of job growth in the USA, a record more than twice as long as the previous one of 48 months set in June 1990.

The shutdown also drove about half a million people into part-time work, swelling this group to 5.1 million, its highest level in 16 months. Workers earned an average of $27.56 an hour last month.

Job gains mainly occurred in leisure and hospitality, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing, the bureau said. Sales of existing homes plunged in December and fell 3.1 percent in 2018 from the previous year. "That doesn't necessarily signal a dramatic change in the trend for the job market or the USA economy".

The shutdown had some 380,000 federal workers furloughed from December 22 to January 25. Even though Trump signed a bill to give them back-pay, they were considered laid off in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey thus pushing the unemployment number up.

But in a separate survey of households that's used to calculate the unemployment rate, some of these people were counted as temporarily jobless. The government itself also spent less. January marks the 100th straight month of job growth. That's a key reason why the unemployment rate rose despite the healthy job gain. Retail employment, which has been essentially flat over the past year, rebounded by 20,800 jobs, while professional and business services employment increased by 30,000 jobs last month.

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