Nonfarm payrolls grew by 200,000 in January and the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, while wages saw their biggest jump since the end of the Great Recession, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a closely watched report Friday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had been expecting jobs growth of 180,000 and an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. A broader measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons edged higher to 8.2 percent, the highest level since September.
In addition to the solid payroll growth, average hourly earnings were up 0.3 percent for the month, matching estimates and reflecting an annualized gain of 2.9 percent. That was the best since mid-2009 as the two-year economic slump was coming to a close. However, the average work week fell two-tenths to 34.3 hours.
Markets were unimpressed with the report, with stock futures continuing to point to a sharply lower open on Wall Street and bond yields rising. The 30-year bond got more clearance from the 3 percent level, hitting 3.06 percent, the highest since March 2017. The benchmark 10-year yield rose to 2.83 percent, a four-year high.
“Overall, it was really fabulous,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. “People are just looking for an excuse to sell.”
The prospect of rising interest rates due to inflation pressures…Read More