Hiring by U.S. employers dramatically exceeded expectations for January, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Wall Street economists expected new jobs to hover around 165,000 for the month, but non-farm payrolls revealed a 304,000 increase.
Analysts had predicted lower job growth over concerns with President Trump’s trade policy, ongoing trade negotiations with China and the impact of the recent government shutdown.
In a Friday statement, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta touted the job gains and expressed optimism the economy would continue to grow:
“January’s Job Report demonstrated the strength of the American economy, with 304,000 jobs added as private sector job creation continued to surge despite the partial government shutdown. Significant growth in the mining, construction, and transportation and warehousing sectors led the report.”
According to BLS data, the unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.9 percent to four percent, but average hourly wages rose 3.2 percent and are up 85 cents over the past year.
Similarly, construction and manufacturing jobs rose to 338,000 and 261,000 from last year. The BLS report also showed the labor-participation rate continued to rise from 63.1 to 63.2. Since January 2018, the labor-participation rate has grown 0.4 percent.
For the first time in a decade, wages rose three percent.
The White House was quick to seize on the good job numbers, with National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow tweeting out a video reminding viewers Trump had projected rosy economic news as a candidate for office.
[CNBC] [Photo courtesy REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk via Business Insider]
We hate to say we told you so… pic.twitter.com/JgEKyIgsjP
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 1, 2019