Vet unemployment up in January

US economy adds 304,000 jobs in January

The United States economy saw its biggest job increase in almost a year, added 304,000 new jobs during the month of January, according to the Department of Labor.

Hourly pay grew a token 0.1 percent over December but was up 3.2 percent over January of a year ago, well above consumer inflation of 1.9 percent in the same period, leaving American workers with greater purchasing power.

The average hourly earnings also increased by 3.2 percent year-on-year.

January marked a record 100 straight months of job gains. While some positions grew, the USA government shutdown led to a higher unemployment rate.

The hundreds of thousands of government workers who were furloughed or working without pay did not have a negative effect on the job market. That lowered the annual increase in wages to 3.2 percent from 3.3 percent in December, giving the employment report a Goldilocks feel.

Private sector payrolls were up by 296,000, with big increases seen in the construction and leisure and hospitality industries.

This shift is largely due to the partial government shutdown.

How did the shutdown affect jobs?

US Treasury Specifies Sanctions On Venezuelan Oil Imports
Guaido said there would be something for everyone in society to do as Venezuela moves forward, including the military. Evan Ellis, a Latin America expert at the U.S.

Restaurants added almost 37,000 jobs in January, according to newly released federal data, as the industry shrugs off labor-cost fears to continue its long-term expansion.

China's economy is decelerating sharply, the United Kingdom is struggling to negotiate its exit from the European Union, and Italy's economy has entered recession, exacerbating fears that slower global growth will cut into USA exports. Job growth was boosted by hiring at construction sites, retailers and business services as well as at restaurants, hotels and amusement parks. It's the second month the unemployment rate has increased, but economists say it's for the right reason: More people are coming off the sidelines and looking for work. The Labor Department calculates the unemployment rate by using a different survey - known as the household survey - where they literally knock on the doors of some people's homes and ask how many adults are employed and how many are unemployed.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by 165,000 jobs in January.

Employers added 304,000 jobs last month - topping analysts' expectations and the 223,000 average monthly gain in 2018.

The number of jobs in retail increased by 21,000 at a time when the sector in the United Kingdom is faltering. As a result, these workers were included in the survey of employers from which the payrolls number is calculated. The two astonishing numbers were the top-line jobs number - 312,000 new jobs - and the 11 cent rise in average hourly earnings.

The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies as traders focused on the tepid monthly wage gain.

Federal employees, who were furloughed but still had to work during the shutdown (roughly 800,000), were considered as employed for the BLS establishment survey, while those who were furloughed but did not work or get back pay (roughly 380,000) were considered to be unemployed during this period.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.

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