January Jobs Growth Smashes Expectations

February 1, 2019

Job growth surged in January, as the nation added 304,000 new jobs. Economists had expected an increase of just 170,000. The unemployment rate crept slightly higher to 4 percent, up from 3.9 percent the month before. The Labor Department attributed this increase to the government shutdown.

The Labor Department report also included a large revision for December. The month’s initially reported gain of 312,000 was slashed by nearly a third, being revised down to 220,000.

Wage growth for the month was sluggish, with the average hourly wage increasing just 0.1 percent. Economists had forecast a 0.3 percent increase. Year-over-year, wages increased 3.2 percent.

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