U.S. employers added 304,000 (net) jobs in January – the 100th straight month of employment gain. It is also the biggest monthly job gain since February 2018 (based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data). The average net addition to workforce for the last three months is now 241,000 jobs — which is an acceleration in job growth.
The leisure and hospitality sector, which hired 74,000 employees, led the job gains for the month. Construction and health care added 52,000 and 42,000 jobs respectively.
In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 3 cents to $27.56, following a 10-cent gain in December. Over the year, the earnings increased by 85 cents, or 3.2%
Unemployment rate, however, ticked up a bit to 4% in January, possibly due to the month-long government shutdown. But the shutdown did not seem to significantly affect job creation and wages.