FEBRUARY 10, 2020 – NEW JOBS CREATED IN JANUARY, UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HOLDS
The Labor Department reported the US economy added a solid 225,000 new jobs in January, with the unemployment rate ticking up slightly from 3.5 to 3.6 percent. This data could indicate a great year ahead, if the labor market continues to fuel economic growth through 2020.
The labor market and the consumers are driving the economy, and it seems there is little evidence of a slowdown. Wages climbed 3.1 percent in January, a bit above the 3 percent seen in December. The modest gains in wages are apparently drawing workers back into the labor force, as the number of Americans looking for work hit 82.9%, the highest rate since 2008. Even though wages have not been growing a lot, neither has inflation, so the consumer is not feeling much pressure.
Solid hiring (US employers have added to their payrolls for 112 straight months) has driven the economy forward thorough the ten years of the recovery, and 2020 is off to a good start.