January nonfarm payroll growth doubled analysts’ estimates, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
The monthly jobs report found the economy added 353,000 jobs in January. In addition, revisions to December’s monthly report added 117,000 jobs, pushing December’s total to 333,000 new jobs.
The unemployment rate remained at 3.7% in January. Analysts estimated the January jobs would total 185,000 and the unemployment rate would be 3.8%.
Daniel Zhao, lead economist at Glassdoor, said the January report reaffirms that the jobs market entered 2024 on solid ground.
“The fact that job growth was so widespread across industries is a healthy sign,” Zhao said. “Coming into today’s report, we were concerned about how concentrated jobs were in really just three sectors — health care, education and government. While it is great to see those sectors drive job gains, there was no guarantee that would be enough to support a health labor market.”
Wages grew as well in January, with the average hourly earnings doubling estimates to increase 0.6%. On a year-over-year basis, wages rose 4.5%.
George Mateyo, chief investment officer at Key Private Bank, said, “Make no mistake, this was a blowout jobs report and will vindicate the recent posturing by the Fed which effectively ruled out an interest rate cut in March.”