Jobs growth was explosive for January 2020 with 225,000 jobs added, as compared to expectations for an addition of just 158,000. While the unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.6%, that was because the labor participation rate climbed to 63.4%.
This now marks the 112th month of job growth.
Some of the biggest gains can be found in education and healthcare, which added 72,000 jobs. Construction added 44,000 jobs. “Weather likely helped the data as construction jobs grew by 44k, well more than the previous 6 month average of 11k,” wrote Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, as quoted by CNBC.
Leisure and hospitality climbed by 36,000. Transportation and warehousing tacked on 28,300. Professional and business services saw an increase of 21,000. However, we did see declines in retail with a loss of 8,300 jobs, and a slip in manufacturing, which showed a loss of 12,000.
“The report is unambiguously good,” said Ed Campbell, portfolio manager at QMA, as quoted by CNBC. “Strong growth and decent but not runaway wage growth should be good for stocks. Of course, we’ve had such a strong week, the markets are taking this in stride given how much we’ve been up so far.”
This follows the ADP report that showed an addition of 291,000 private jobs, which was well above estimates for 150,000. Leisure and hospitality added 96,000 new jobs. Education and health added 70,000. Professional and business services tacked on 49,000. Construction added 47,000. Even manufacturing rose by another 10,000.
Wages Came in Hot as Well
In fact, average hourly earnings rose 3.1% over a year ago to $28.44, says CNBC.
“That marked 18 consecutive months of wage gains above 3%, as the initially reported 2.9% for December was revised up to 3%.”