Economy Gains 304,000 Jobs in January; Unemployment Rises to 4%

Economy Gains 304,000 Jobs in January; Unemployment Rises to 4%

The U.S. economy gained 304,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate rose to 4%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wage growth of 3.2% is positive but insufficient to restore labor’s share of national income, and too low to conclude that labor markets are tight. Because 19 states boosted their minimum wage, wages in leisure and hospitality (the bulk of whom are fast-food workers) gained 4.7% in wage growth, while in manufacturing wages only rose 2.4%. The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee made the right decision to hold back on further rate increases.

In response to the January job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last month’s biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (74,000), construction (52,000), health care (42,000), professional and business services (30,000), transportation and warehousing (27,000), retail trade (21,000), manufacturing (13,000), mining (7,000) and federal government (1,000). Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information and financial activities.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates rose for teenagers (12.9%), blacks (6.8%) and Hispanics (4.9%). The jobless rate declined for Asians (3.1%). The jobless rate for adult men (3.7%), adult women (3.6%) and whites (3.5%) showed little change in January.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined in January and accounted for 19.3% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell
Fri, 02/01/2019 – 09:58

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Updated: February 13, 2019 — 5:06 am