The US unexpectedly added 517,000 jobs in January
U.S. job growth unexpectedly rebounded in January, as the economy continued to perform strongly despite efforts by the Federal Reserve to reduce demand.
Employers in the world’s largest economy added 517,000 jobs in the first month of the year, nearly double December’s figure, which was revised up to 260,000. The Economist expects 185,000 positions to be added.
The unemployment rate fell to a historic low of 3.4%. Average hourly earnings have increased by 0.3% since December, representing an annual rate of 4.4%.
US government debt extended the sell-off after the data was released. The yield on the two-year Treasury note rose 0.16 percentage points to 4.26%. Yields move inversely with price. S&P 500 futures were down 1.3%, about 0.5% lower before the report was released.
The data, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, comes as the Federal Reserve debates how much more monetary policy should tighten to bring inflation back to its 2% target. ages ago long ago.
US central bank this week switch back to a more orthodox rate hike after a series of big moves last year, raising the federal funds rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a new target range of 4.50% to 4.75%.
Speaking on Wednesday, Fed chair Jay Powell took on a more upbeat tone about the economic outlook and the central bank’s handling of one of the worst inflation shocks in decades. . That thing speculative burn The Fed is ending its rate hike campaign sooner than previously signaled.
While acknowledging that the “de-inflation process” has begun, Mr. Powell warned that it is still in the “early stages” and that price pressures are still too great, especially those related to what he describes as an “extremely tight” labor market.
Emphasizing the strength of the labor market, job openings in December soared again, bringing the total number of vacancies to 11 million. Jobless claims last week also fell to a nine-month low. However, wage growth has slowed and companies have begun to cut labor costs, by cutting working hours and cutting temporary workers off their payrolls.
Powell on Wednesday reiterated that there is still a “pathway” to controlling inflation without triggering a severe recession and excessive job losses, though he did note that the “softening” labor market is necessary.
With the labor shortage continuing, Powell said, “this is unlike other business cycles in many ways.” In December, the labor force participation rate, which tracks the number of Americans who have a job or are looking for work, held steady below pre-pandemic levels, at 62.4%.
Most economists polled by Bloomberg expect the US to slip into a recession this year and the unemployment rate to climb to nearly 5%.