Published: Sun, February 03, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

U.S. adds 304,000 jobs in January, almost doubling economists' expectations

U.S. adds 304,000 jobs in January, almost doubling economists' expectations

United States job creation had another blockbuster month in January, blowing past the government shutdown, but that disruption helped to push the unemployment rate higher, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Meanwhile, wages also rose slightly by 0.1-percent, while unemployment also ticked up to four-percent from 3.9-percent. "Nearly all of this increase occurred in the private sector and may reflect the impact of the partial federal government shutdown", it said.

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. Hospitals added 18,800 jobs in January, up from 7,400 jobs added in December.

USA job growth surged in January, with employers hiring the most workers in 11 months, pointing to underlying strength in the economy despite an uncertain outlook that has left the Federal Reserve wary about more interest rate hikes this year.

The government on Friday also sharply revised down its estimate of job growth in December, to 222,000 from a previously estimated 312,000.

USA employers hired the most workers in 11 months in January, indicating the labor market remains strong despite fears of an economic slowdown. Add Jobs Report as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Jobs Report news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

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The goods producing industry added 72,000 net new jobs, the most since February 2018, fueled by a 52,000 increase in construction employment.

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 clearest sign that the economy remains on solid ground. The increase was because some furloughed federal workers and government contractors took on part-time jobs to make ends meet when they not paid during the shutdown.

However, the five-week government shutdown - the result of an impasse between the president and Congress over his plans for a wall on the US-Mexico border - was at least partly responsible for an uptick in the jobless rate to 4.0 percent, the highest in seven months.

How did the shutdown affect jobs?

The government itself also spent less. "Don't be surprised if we see something less robust".

January marked a record 100 straight months of job gains. 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.

"I am right now planning our first family vacation in three years", she said. With unemployment so low and many companies struggling to fill jobs, layoffs might not have been widespread.

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