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Healthcare job growth dips in January

04 February, 2019, 17:11 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • US employers added 304,000 jobs in January, soaring past expectations

US employers added 304,000 jobs in January, soaring past Wall Street's expectations for an increase of 165,000 jobs, seemingly brushing off a 35-day government shutdown as investors braced for mixed results. Average hourly earnings in the leisure and hospitality sector have risen almost 4% over the past year, compared to 3.2% for the workforce as a whole.

The numbers released Friday by the Department of Labor represent the largest monthly jobs increase in almost a year and continue a long running trend of 100 consecutive months of growth.

January marked the 100th straight month of jobs growth, by far the longest on record. The unemployment rate has remained low at around 4.0 percent over the past year. Specifically, the establishment survey will treat federal workers, irrespective of whether they were furloughed or working without pay, as having been employed. While employment grew, hourly wages dipped lower than usual with a 0.1% increase, less than the predicted 0.3% estimate.

Gains occurred in a number of sectors: Leisure and hospitality added 74,000 jobs, construction 52,000, health care about 45,000, retail almost 21,000 and manufacturing 13,000.

The partial shutdown of federal agencies may have ended (for at least a couple more weeks), but the effects of that episode are still being observed.

Norland continued: "This points towards a moderation in the pace of job creation going forward".

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Friday defended the central bank's policy stance, telling CNBC that the jobs numbers were backward looking, and Dallas Fed chief Robert Kaplan called the payrolls report "noisy", pointing to a sharp rise in part-time jobs.

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Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January, compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018.

FILE- In this Jan. 3, 2019, file photo an employment sign hangs from a wooden fence on the property of a McDonald's restaurant in Atlantic Highlands, N.J. On Friday, Feb. 1, the USA government issues the January jobs report, which will reveal the latest unemployment rate and number of jobs US employers added.

The US economy created 304,000 jobs in January, solidly beating expectations amid the federal 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.

The figure was far in excess of economists' forecasts of 165,000. The furloughed employees, though, were not counted as unemployed even if they did receive unemployment benefits during the shutdown. We maintain that a relatively large potential supply of labor, including prime age people re-entering the workforce, will continue to drive these healthy job gains. By contrast, the overall economy has increased the number of jobs by 1.9%-and 0.2% last month.

The government added 8,000 jobs last month. Professional and business services employment increased by 30,000 jobs last month. The importance of the continued rise in work and labor market participation can not be overstated.

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. The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not reflect those of Berenberg Capital Markets, LLC.

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