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The economy added 304,000 jobs in January — significantly more than the 170,000 economists were expecting —while the unemployment rate ticked higher to 4.0% from 3.9%, reflecting the impact of the government shutdown, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Expand chart
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: With the highest labor force participation rate in 6 years, the job market continues to defy expectations that the economy is approaching full employment. January marked a record 100th straight month of job gains.

  • Economists expect the unemployment rate, which rose since furloughed federal employees were counted as unemployed, to tick back down as those employees return to work (granted the government doesn't shut down again).

The details:

  • Wages rose 3.2% year-over-year in January, falling from the revised 3.3% growth in December.
  • December's blockbuster report was revised lower to 222,000 from 312,000, while November's report was revised higher by 20,000 jobs to 196,000.
  • The number of workers who worked part-time for economic reasons rose to 5.1 million from 4.6%, which may reflect how some furloughed workers coped with delayed pay from the government shutdown.

What they're saying:

  • "After staggering numbers for December, January’s strong performance quells any lingering feelings that a hiring plateau might have occurred from tariffs, the government shutdown or recent market volatility," said Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group.
  • "Job growth would probably have been even higher without the government shutdown, which delayed hiring in many companies," Julia Pollak, labor economics researcher at ZipRecruiter, tweeted.
  • Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, tweeted in part: ""Details [of the jobs report] mostly point to a solid labor market and will counter concerns about a significant growth slowdown, and put an end to talk of 2019 recession."

Go deeper

Pelosi announces bid for re-election ahead of 2022 midterms

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced her bid for re-election Tuesday, amid a deluge of other safe-seat Democrats announcing their retirements.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s announcement follows months of speculation — despite her denials — that she was preparing to leave Congress.

Scoop: Qatar emir to visit White House on Monday

The emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, leaves the White House after meeting President Trump in 2019. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The emir of Qatar will meet with President Biden at the White House on Monday to discuss Afghanistan as well as contingency plans to provide natural gas to Europe in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Europe's reliance on Russia for 40% of its natural gas is undermining Biden's attempts to coordinate "massive" sanctions to be imposed from both sides of the Atlantic if Russia invades. The White House wants Qatar to help ensure European countries can enforce tough sanctions without risking an energy crisis.

Biden: There won't be "American forces moving into Ukraine"

President Joe Biden told reporters Tuesday that he does not foresee U.S. troops moving into Ukraine.

Why it matters: Biden's comments come as tensions between Russia and Ukraine persist, and a Russian invasion of Ukraine appears increasingly likely.