Tuesday, 20 February, 2018

USA employment grows more than expected

US Jobs Report: NFPs +200000, Wages Rise Most Since 2009 Jobs Have Been Added For Record 88 Straight Months
| 03 February, 2018, 14:57

The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent, the lowest level since 2000.

The report also showed that wages went up 0.34% in January, which puts it up 2.9% over the year.

"For Dollarwatchers, it's that barnstorming wage growth figure that's making the weather", he said.

Deller does warn that not all monthly reports can predict the future and several years of data shows wage growth picks up to only fall back a few months later.

On the flip side, the information industry lost 6,000 jobs, while utilities shed 1,400, though the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that they reflected minor losses.

United States job creation accelerated in January, as labour markets continued to absorb workers at a robust pace, unemployment clung to a record low and wages moved higher, the government reported today.

At the same time, some 18 states raised minimum wages in January and that likely added to the increase in pay. Part of that is that in 2014 and 2015, inflation was pretty low and so even this kind of middling nominal wage growth still gave you a decent real wage growth.

Wages were forecast to rise 0.2% over the prior month, a slight decline from last month, but increase 2.6% on an annual basis, an improvement over the final month of 2017. "They're really having to work to keep their talent".


Worker pay jumped in January, with average hourly wages up 2.9 percent from a year ago.

Employers' words may finally be translating into action. Over the year, construction employment has increased by 226,000, the government said. Some economists say there's a wide gap between the skills employers are demanding and the ones workers have. Regardless, America has almost 6 million job openings, near a record high. "Employers are paying a premium to smaller specialized firms like us that work more discreetly and below the radar". December's gain was revised upward to 2.7 percent. Construction companies hired 36,000 workers. The industry has added 255,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Restaurants, hotels, bars and entertainment gained 35,000.

Gold is being weight down by a stronger USA dollar and higher bond yields in reaction to the data. The figures point to an economy on strong footing, fueled by consumer spending and global growth.

Still, it wasn't all good news.

Economists had expected employment to increase by about 180,000 jobs compared to the addition of 148,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. The average workweek fell to 34.3 hours, the shortest in 4 months, from 34.5 hours in December.

But overall, economists note the gains in January illustrate a job market that's come a long way from the Great Recession, which ended in 2009.

"After revisions, job gains have averaged 192,000 over the last 3 months", the report said. Wages have been a slight disappointment in recent months as many economists have expected the low level of unemployment to create more wage pressures in the economy. Jobless claims are at their lowest point in decades.

Investors and analysts widely expect the central bank will raise short-term interest rates at its next policy meeting in March. The year before the recession began in late 2007, wage rose a better than 3%.

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