The US payrolls rose 304K
February 01, 2019 @ 19:32 UTC
U.S. hiring in January topped all forecasts while wage gains cooled and the government shutdown pushed up the unemployment rate, signaling job gains remain robust without major inflation pressures that would worry Federal Reserve officials. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 304,000, the most in almost a year, after a downwardly revised 222,000 gain the prior month, a Labor Department report showed Friday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey called for an increase of 165,000, following an initially reported 312,000 in December.
Average hourly earnings rose just 0.1 percent from the prior month, missing estimates and the smallest increase since late 2017. The annual gain of 3.2 percent matched forecasts though was down from an upwardly revised 3.3 percent in December. The jobless rate increased to 4 percent, reflecting the shutdown, as the number of unemployed on temporary layoff rose by 175,000, many of them federal workers, according to the department.
Hundreds of thousands of federal employees who were furloughed were still included in the payrolls tally because they will collect back pay, though they would be considered unemployed in the household survey. But workers in related businesses, such as contractors, may have lost hours and earnings they may never fully recoup.
Economists had anticipated the jobless rate would experience some upward pressure related to the shutdown, instead of declining further amid the tight labor market. Even so, the rate remains well below the level that central bankers consider sustainable in the long run.
U.S. Payrolls Rise 304,000 as Wage Gains Cool Amid Shutdown, Bloomberg, Feb 01