Jobs report beats, unemployment rate climbs to 5.7%

The Jobs Report was a huge beat.

Nonfarm payrolls in the US grew by 257,000 in January, while the unemployment rate rose to 5.7% from 5.6%.

Average hourly earnings also topped expectations, rising 0.5% in January compared to the prior month and rising 2.2% compared to the prior year.

These gains were both better than expected.

Here were Wall Street’s expectations, via Bloomberg:

  • Nonfarm payrolls: +230,000
  • Unemployment rate: 5.6%
  • Average hourly earnings, month-on-month: +0.3%
  • Average hourly earnings, year-on-year: +1.9%
  • Average weekly hours worked: 34.6

The US labour market is currently in the midst of its longest streak of monthly payrolls adds over 200,000 since the mid-90s.

Friday’s report marked the 12th straight month of payroll gains over 200,000.

The unemployment rate rose slightly from last month, but is still at levels last seen in July 2008.

In addition to an increase in the unemployment rate, the labour force participation rate also increased, to 62.9% from 62.7%. Average weekly hours worked also rose held steady at 34.6.

The “U-6” unemployment rate, which includes workers that are unemployed and those working part time but want full-time work, rose slightly to 11.3% from 11.2% last month.

According to the BLS, “Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities, and manufacturing.”

The November and December jobs reports were also revised up in a big way. November’s report was revised up to job gains of 423,000 from a prior report of 353,000. December’s job gains were revised higher to 329,000 from 252,000.

On Twitter, David Wessel of the Brookings Institution noted that with these revisions, November marked the strongest single month for job growth since November 1997.

These revisions also make the last three months the best three months for job gains in 17 years.

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