Rising Unemployment, Lackluster Wage Growth Overshadow January’s Strong Job Gains
U.S. employers added 227,000 new jobs in January — the most payroll gains since September and a significant increase compared to last year’s monthly average growth of 187,000 jobs.
The rapid hiring was tempered by rising unemployment and lackluster wage growth. Unemployment rose to 4.8% from December’s 4.7%, signaling an increase in Americans looking for work, the Labor Department reported Friday. In addition, the average hourly paycheck for workers in the private sector increased a mere three cents from December — that’s a modest 2.5% increase compared to this time last year, the Wall Street Journal reports. These numbers suggest a little wiggle room for growth before inflation pressures force the Federal Reserve to raise rates.
January’s jobs report took quite a shift from the month prior. In December, payroll gains increased by 156,000 while unemployment ticked up to 4.7%. Wage growth showed renewed strength as it rose by its best annual rate since 2009, up 2.9% from the previous year. [WSJ]