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Financial News: U.S. Job Growth Far Exceeds Economist Estimates In

U.S. Job Growth Far Exceeds Economist Estimates In January

02/02/2024 - 09:35:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Signaling continued strength in the labor market, the Labor Department released a closely watched report on Friday showing employment in the U.S. soared by much more than expected in the month of January.

The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment spiked by 353,000 jobs in January compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 180,000 jobs.

The report also showed significantly stronger than previously reported job growth in December, with employment surging by 333,000 jobs during the month compared to the jump of 216,000 jobs that had been reported.

"Given the Fed now wants strong job growth, as Jay Powell told us just two days ago, this report should not discourage the FOMC from cutting rates," said FHN Financial Chief Economist Chris Low. "By the same token, however, it is not going to encourage them to rush into rate cutting."

The much stronger than expected job growth in January partly reflected a significant increase in employment in the healthcare and social assistance sector, which jumped by 100,400 jobs.

Employment in the professional and business services and retail sectors also saw notable growth, while employment declined in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate in January came in unchanged from the previous month at 3.7 percent. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to inch up to 3.8 percent.

The unemployment rate came in unchanged as the labor force shrank by 175,000 persons, while household survey measure of employment fell by 31,000.

The report also said average hourly employee earnings climbed by $0.19 or 0.6 percent to $34.55 in January.

The annual rate of wage growth inched up to 4.5 percent in January from an upwardly revised 4.4 percent in December.

Economists had expected wage growth to come in unchanged compared to the 4.1 percent originally reported for the previous month.

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