U.S. workers

Big surprise U.S. jobs rise in January 2024

Job creation in the U.S. surged in January 2024, as the economy continued to defy predictions of a slowdown

The U.S. economy added 353,000 jobs and average hourly pay jumped, while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, the Labour Department said.

The report extended more job gains that has surprised economists, who have expected a jump in interest rates since 2022 to slow the economy. It hasn’t. No recession or slowdown in the economy so far.

Early rate cut less likely according to these figures

  • Average hourly earnings increased 0.6%. Year-on-year basis, wages jumped 4.5%, above the 4.1% forecast.
  • Non-farm payrolls expanded by 353,000 for the month, well above the 185,000 estimate. The unemployment rate held at 3.7%.
  • Job growth was widespread in January 2024. Professional and business services 74,000. Other sectors included health care 70,000 and retail trade 45,000.

Analysts now say the job market gain and strength make an early interest rate cut less likely.

The U.S. employment data delivered quite a shock, easily beating expectations, with earnings much higher than expected. Stock markets gained and are at elevated levels for the Dow, Nasdaq and the S&P 500. Record highs have been set – are the highs?

Market analysts said these numbers show the U.S. economy is strong and will change the mindsets of those expecting an early interest rate cut.

Expectations of a recession are off the table too, for now.

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