Gold Prices Fall After 200K US Jobs Created In January

03 February, 2018, 03:36 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Mario Tama  Getty

US employers added 200,000 jobs in January, beating expectations for an increase of 180,000 jobs after December's lower-than-expected reading.

Many experts expect the jobless rate to fall to below 4 percent this year, and that should benefit more groups of workers with historically high unemployment.

Average hourly earnings rose by 9 cents for a second consecutive month, settling at $26.74. The report said that average hourly wages increased 11 cents last month to $26.74, up 0.3% from December. Earnings did pick up a bit more for all employees than they did for just production and nonsupervisory workers, so the jury is still out on whether this acceleration will last.

At the same time, the average workweek shrank by 0.2 hour to 34.3 hours in January, holding down weekly paychecks.

Gus Faucher, PNC's chief economist, said the job market this year is in good shape even though the labor market will face challenges as fewer workers will be available for open positions.

The health care, construction and hospitality industries lead the economy's big job gains over the past month. "The Goldilocks view of inflation is being sorely challenged right now".

Wages rose at the fastest rate in eight years.

The labour-force participation rate - the share of adults either working or actively looking for work - was unchanged, at 62.7 per cent.

During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Trump said the new tax law will further bolster the overall strength of the USA economy. The dollar rose against a basket of currencies on the data while US stocks were trading lower. When that measure of underemployment is added to the Labor Department's tabulation, the more accurate unemployment and underemployment rate stands at 8.2 percent-itself still a considerable improvement over the 10.1 percent rate a year ago.

The gain in residential construction was running a "modest" 1.3 percent above a year earlier, First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming said.

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The U.S. economy entered 2018 with healthy momentum after posting its best year of growth since 2014.

President Donald Trump entered office with a commitment to help workers through economic growth.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast NFPs rising by 180,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.1%. The industry has added 255,000 jobs over the past 12 months, the biggest rise by sector. That's a touch faster than the 181,000 monthly average for 2017.

Government employment increased by 4,000 jobs following two straight months of declines.

Some economists anticipate that the Republican tax law will continue to boost wages, because some large corporations are giving their workers raises.

At the same time, some 18 states raised minimum wages in January and that likely added to the increase in pay.

Further gains are expected in February when Walmart (NYSE:WMT) raises entry-level wages for hourly employees at its United States stores.

The third major contributor to the overall earnings boost in January was the financial activities sector. Because the data in it show that workers are finally seeing wage growth accelerate.

The hiring last month exceeded most analysts' forecast for job growth of about 175,000 in January, which was right around the monthly average increase for past year. The black unemployment rate is typically about twice the white unemployment rate, but is now substantially higher.

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