USA job growth surges in January despite government shutdown

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The unemployment rate climbed slightly from 3.9 percent to 4.0 percent. I also predict that earnings will post a 7-cent increase, for a 3.1 percent year-over-year gain. Wages have risen by 3.2 percent since this time a year ago.

It added that some of the federal workers classified themselves as "employed but absent from work" during the month, which would not have been included in the figures for unemployment. Transportation, leisure and hospitality, construction and health care led the job gains.

The new numbers were welcome news for President Donald Trump, whose already-low public approval rating suffered in the wake of the longest government shutdown in United States history.

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The economy added 304,000 nonfarm payrolls at the start of 2019, bringing the labour market into a 100th straight month of job creation and compared with forecasts for increase of 165,000.

With key data from the Commerce Department, including the fourth-quarter gross domestic product report, still delayed because of the government shutdown, the employment report is the strongest evidence yet that the economy remains on solid ground.

Last month, the economy of the United States of America added more than 300,000 jobs despite the USA government shutdown. The Labor Department calculates the unemployment rate by using a different survey - known as the household survey - where they literally knock on the doors of some people's homes and ask how many adults are employed and how many are unemployed.

"Barring further tightening in financial conditions that would negatively impact economic activity, the very strong labor market picture supports our expectations that the Fed will keep a tightening bias this year".

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Wage growth held steady in January.

The unemployment rate increased to 4.0% from 3.9% in January, as Federal employees furloughed by the government shutdown are usually recorded as unemployed in the Household Survey. The two astonishing numbers were the top-line jobs number - 312,000 new jobs - and the 11 cent rise in average hourly earnings. Of those, 175,000 were counted as unemployed in the Bureau of Labor Statistics survey. "It's our job to educate our clients about the labor market". 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.

Still, experts put more stock in yearly averages than monthly ones, warning that unemployment rates for veterans can be volatile because they're based on a smaller sample size.

Employment at construction sites surged 52,000, the most since February 2018, after increasing 28,000 in December.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.

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