U.S. economy adds whopping 517,000 jobs in January
The U.S. economy added 517,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.4% — the lowest level in over a half-century, the government said on Friday.
Why it matters: Employers added jobs at an unexpectedly rapid pace, the latest sign of a hot labor market despite aggressive moves by the Federal Reserve to cool it down.
- The numbers are more than double the 190,000 forecasters anticipated.
Details: The extraordinary report comes as the Fed continues to dial back its pace of interest rates and prepares to raise rates further to restrain the economy and chill still-high inflation.
- Fed chair Jerome Powell has acknowledged progress on slowing inflation in recent months while noting risks lie ahead. Among them is wage growth, which is rising at a pace still too swift for the Fed's comfort.
- In January, average hourly earnings rose 0.3% — or 4.4% over the previous year, according to Friday's data.
The big picture: The data also showed that employment in 2022 was even stronger than initially thought, with roughly 568,000 more jobs than previously reported.
- The update was part of the Labor Department's annual revisions, which incorporate more complete data from insurance records and updated seasonal adjustments.
Editor’s note: This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.