KEY POINTS

  • Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 353,000 for the month, better than the Dow Jones estimate for 185,000. The unemployment rate held at 3.7%, against the estimate for 3.8%.
  • Average hourly earnings increased 0.6%, double the monthly estimate. On a year-over-year basis, wages jumped 4.5%, well above the 4.1% forecast.
  • Job growth was widespread in January, led by professional and business services with 74,000. Other significant contributors included health care (70,000) and retail trade (45,000).

Job growth posted a surprisingly strong increase in January, demonstrating again that the U.S. labor market is solid and poised to support broader economic growth.

Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 353,000 for the month, much better than the Dow Jones estimate for 185,000, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The unemployment rate held at 3.7%, against the estimate for 3.8%.

Wage growth also showed strength, as average hourly earnings increased 0.6%, double the monthly estimate. On a year-over-year basis, wages jumped 4.5%, well above the 4.1% forecast. The wage gains came amid a decline in average hours worked, down to 34.1, or 0.2 […]

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