January Jobs Report: US Adds 353,000 Jobs

US adds 360,000 new jobs in September.

In a robust start to the year, the United States added 353,000 jobs in January, showcasing the resilience of the labor market. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, indicating sustained labor force engagement across various sectors.

Is the U.S. job market growing?

January’s performance is a notable increase from December’s gain of 216,000 jobs, reflecting the economy’s ongoing recovery and expansion efforts.

The January jobs report illustrates a positive start to the year, with significant job additions and stable unemployment rates across major worker groups.

The increase in average hourly earnings also points to a strengthening wage trend, benefiting workers across the economy.

U.S. unemployment rates by group:

  • Adult women: 3.2%
  • Adult men: 3.6%
  • Teenagers: 10.6%
  • Whites: 3.4%
  • Blacks: 5.3%
  • Asians: 2.9%
  • Hispanics: 5.0%

Key employment statistics for January 2024:

  • The number of discouraged workers, part of the marginally attached group who believe no jobs are available for them, rose to 452,000. This increase highlights ongoing challenges in matching job seekers with suitable employment opportunities.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls surged by 19 cents, or 0.6%, to $34.55. This growth represents a 4.5% increase over the past year, signaling strong wage dynamics amidst the economic recovery.
  • Government employment continued its upward trend with an addition of 36,000 jobs in January, although slightly below the average monthly gain of 57,000 in 2023.

Sectors with notable job growth in January:

Healthcare

The healthcare sector added 70,000 jobs in January, with ambulatory health care services (+33,000), hospitals (+20,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+17,000) leading the way.

This growth underscores the sector’s critical role in the economy and its consistent demand for skilled professionals.

Professional and Business Services

This sector saw a significant increase, adding 74,000 jobs in January, well above the average monthly increase of 14,000 jobs in 2023.

The surge in professional, scientific, and technical services (+42,000) highlights the sector’s dynamic expansion and its contribution to overall employment growth.

Retail Trade

Retail trade employment rose by 45,000 in January, with general merchandise retailers adding 24,000 jobs.

This growth indicates a rebound in consumer spending and retail activity after periods of stagnation.

Social Assistance

Employment in social assistance increased by 30,000 in January, reflecting ongoing growth in individual and family services (+22,000).

This sector’s expansion is crucial for addressing the social needs of communities across the nation.

Manufacturing and Government

Both manufacturing (+23,000) and government (+36,000) sectors saw job additions, contributing to the diverse employment opportunities available to the U.S. workforce.

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