The US economy added 225,000 jobs in January
The US economy added 225,000 jobs in January as against the unemployment rate, which edged slightly higher to 3.6 percent. The cause of unemployment can be due to the fact that more people are looking for the jobs. In fact, three out of four new hires in the US over the last few months were not actively looking for jobs before they were employed, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics: this is a three-decade high that indicates an increasing number of Americans are joining the workforce.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' report, job growth in the construction, health care, transportation and warehousing industries was particularly strong in January.
Economists had expected only 160,000 new jobs in January. In 2019, monthly job growth averaged 175,000.
Manufacturing jobs declined for the second month in a row. The sector was in a downturn in the last five months of 2019, but factory activity grew in January. A slump in transportation jobs would imply a more broad-based downturn in the production, trade and delivery of goods. The transportation sector added 28,000 new jobs in January.
The number of people working or looking to work grew by 574,000 people last month, after accounting for annual revisions to population estimates. This influx of workers sent the labor force participation rate up to 63.4 percent, its highest level since mid-2013.
The employment ratio of women aged 25 to 54 climbed to 74.7 percent and is nearing the historic high of 74.9 percent it reached in 2000.
Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2 percent in January, and 3.1 percent over the past 12 months. With consumer price inflation at 2.3 percent on the year in December, employees still have a modest wage increase after accounting for inflation. This is important, as healthy consumers with disposable income are instrumental to the US economy.
The January report also included revisions for the 2019 data. The revisions showed the US economy added 2,096,000 jobs last year, down marginally from earlier reports that showed 2,108,000 jobs were added.
An upward revision to November and December numbers brought the average job gains over the past three months to 211,000 new positions.