Vet unemployment up in January

US employers added 304,000 jobs in January, soaring past expectations

US economy adds 304,000 jobs in January

The Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report on Friday showed no "discernible" impact on job growth from a 35-day partial government shutdown.

While jobs were added, the USA unemployment rate rose from 3.9% to 4% in January. Average earnings for all workers grew slightly slower than the month before, at 3.2 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, the USA added approximately 304,000 jobs, particularly in the leisure and hospitality, transportation and warehousing, construction, and health care industries. Sales of existing homes plunged in December and fell 3.1 percent in 2018 from the previous year.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics increased to 4.9 percent in January.

Employment gains were led by the leisure and hospitality sector, which has added 410,000 jobs over the past year.

The partial government shutdown could have affected numbers, however.

"This jobs report is showing no evidence of an economy slowing, certainly not falling into recession", Michelle Meyer, chief United States economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told the New York Times. Last month, the economy added a bigger-than-expected 304,000 jobs, including 13,000 in manufacturing.

China's economy is decelerating sharply and Italy's economy has entered recession, exacerbating fears that slower global growth will cut into US exports.

Different job sectors contributed to U.S. job growth.

USA employers hired the most workers in 11 months in January, indicating the labor market remains strong despite fears of an economic slowdown. But the Labor Department said it had no effect on jobs creation.

An analyst at the U.S. investment bank Charles Schwab, Kully Samra, stated: "A tight labour market and healthy wage growth support economic growth, and today's data should buoy consumer spending and could boost the stock market". The furloughed employees, though, were not counted as unemployed even if they did receive unemployment benefits during the shutdown. The two astonishing numbers were the top-line jobs number - 312,000 new jobs - and the 11 cent rise in average hourly earnings.

MARTIN: All right. NPR's Yuki Noguchi for us this morning with those new jobs numbers. "It's our job to educate our clients about the labor market". This figure includes furloughed federal employees who were classified as unemployed on temporary layoff under the definitions used in the household survey. By contrast, the overall economy has increased the number of jobs by 1.9%-and 0.2% last month. The increase in jobs topped analysts' expectations - and the 223,000 average monthly gain in 2018. Over-the-month job gains occurred in durable goods (+20,000), while employment in nondurable goods changed little (-7,000).

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