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Financial News: U.S. Employment Jumps By 200,000 Jobs In January,

U.S. Employment Jumps By 200,000 Jobs In January, Wage Growth Accelerates

02/02/2018 - 09:17:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Employment in the U.S. jumped by more than anticipated in the month of January, according to a closely watched report released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The report said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 200,000 jobs in January after climbing by an upwardly revised 160,000 jobs in December.

Economists had expected employment to increase by about 180,000 jobs compared to the addition of 148,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

While the job growth in December was upwardly revised, the jump in employment in November was downwardly revised to 216,000 jobs from 252,000 jobs, reflecting a net downward revision of 24,000 jobs over the two months.

The Labor Department said the increase in employment in January reflected a continued uptrend in employment in construction, food services and drinking places, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Meanwhile, the report said the unemployment rate came in at 4.1 percent in January, unchanged from the three previous months and in line with economist estimates.

The unemployment rate remained at a seventeen-year low as the labor force expanded by 518,000 people, offsetting an increase in the household survey measure of employment of 409,000 people.

The Labor Department also said average hourly employee earnings rose by $0.09 or 0.3 percent to $26.74 in January after climbing by $0.11 or 0.4 percent to $26.65 in December.

The annual rate of growth in average hourly employee earnings subsequently accelerated to 2.9 percent in January from an upwardly revised 2.7 percent in December. The wage growth was fastest since 2009.

"Given companies such as WalMart have credited Trump's tax cuts as a way for them to afford higher worker pay we suspect we will see the wage numbers pick-up further," said James Knightley, Chief International Economist at ING.

He added, "Consequently, it will need a big shock to prevent the Fed from hiking in March, but it could happen in the form of a damaging government shutdown should politicians fail to resolve their differences."

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