The Jobs Report No One Expected
The January jobs report is out and it contains a lot of surprising data, especially for those who predicted a lower-than-normal month due to the government shutdown.
Expectations ahead of the jobs report were around 165,000 new jobs in January, largely attributed to the government shutdown. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their report showing nearly double that at 305,000.
Via NBC News:
The surge in hiring comes despite the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, mounting concern about a global economic slowdown, and a lack of key economic data being generated while some government agencies were not fully operational.
The nation’s unemployment rate ticked upward to 4 percent and wage growth held steady at 3.2 percent.
The shutdown appears to have had little impact on job growth, partly because President Donald Trump approved back pay for furloughed government workers, which means the 800,000 employees who worked without pay were still included in the jobs count.
However, the shutdown did have an effect on the jobless rate, as the BLS considers those workers “on temporary layoff.” Many of those workers, however, looked for part-time jobs to make ends meet.
It’s not all good news, however, as the BLS also heavily revised a very good December, down from 312,000 jobs to 222,000.
That is a host of surprises for those who follow this other thing, and it’s not entirely clear what the possible revisions in February will affect this report. The prospects for 2019 look good, though, and many analysts are predicting a solid economic year ahead.