The U.S. jobs market started off on a good note in 2017 by adding 227,000 non-farm payroll jobs in January, beating the 170,000 consensus estimate from briefing.com while the U.S. unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.8 percent from 4.7 percent, according to latest data today from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The strongest employment gains in January occurred in retail, construction, and financial activities.
During the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 183,000 per month.
The jobs reports for November and December were revised lower by 39,000. November was revised lower from 204,000 to 164,000 while December was revised slightly higher from 156,000 to 157,000.
Average hourly earnings for employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 3 cents in January to $26.00 after a 6 cent increase in December. For the year, average hourly earnings have expanded by 2.5 percent.
The labor force participation rate rose by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent and the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained unchanged at 34.4 hours in January.
On Wednesday private payroll processor ADP reported that 246,000 private sector jobs were added in January, beating the 165,000 consensus estimate from briefing.com.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics said in a statement that the U.S. jobs market got off to a good start in 2017.
“2017 got off to a strong start in the job market. Job growth is solid across most industries and company sizes. Even the energy sector is adding to payrolls again,” Zandi said.
Ahu Yildirmaz, Vice President and co-leader of ADP Research Institute said that services gains have rebounded in January with both small and midsize businesses adding jobs.
“The U.S. labor market is hitting on all cylinders and we saw small and midsized businesses perform exceptionally well,” Yildirmaz said in a statement.
On Wednesday the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady with the federal funds at the conclusion of their January meeting, as expected.
“Job gains remained solid and the unemployment rate stayed near its recent low. Household spending has continued to rise moderately while business fixed investment has remained soft” the Fed said in a statement .