Sunday, 17 February, 2019

US adds 304000 jobs in January amid govt shutdown

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Laurie Berry | 03 February, 2019, 19:10

In the 100th consecutive month of job growth, average hourly earnings were up 3.2 percent over the previous year. If they were, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the unemployment rate for the month of January would have been higher.

President Donald Trump, a cheerleader for good economic data, celebrated the numbers by posting a tweet on February 1: "JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!" The importance of the continued rise in work and labor market participation can not be overstated. Notable gains occurred in the retail sector (21,000), transportation and warehousing (27,000), and education and health services (55,000). The numbers, released Friday by the Labor Department, show that much of the private sector was unphased by the shutdown that furloughed some 380,000 federal workers and forced about 420,000 to work without pay. It's the second month the unemployment rate has increased, but economists say it's for the right reason: More people are coming off the sidelines and looking for work.

The workers who took part-time jobs during the shutdown likely have given them up, so that number should fall in next month's jobs report.

He stated: "It's also possible that today's strong data will be among the last extremely strong employment reports". One of them is the payroll survey, which measures hiring. The CPS survey, which is conducted by the Census Bureau for the BLS, is often shorthanded to "household survey". It also incorporated new population estimates. That was less than the blockbuster 312,000 first reported, and it followed the revised 176,000 jobs added in November. It also informs the headline earnings and hours worked data.

The unemployment rate inched up to 4 percent, and the shutdown contributed to the uptick, the department said.

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Different methodologies for these complementary reports treat similarly situated individuals differently in some circumstances.

Just over 55,000 federal employees filed jobless claims during the shutdown, but those employees will have to pay back any benefits after receiving backpay from the government opening back up.

The 35-day government shutdown caused 800,000 workers to miss two paychecks. Federal contractors that did not work due to the shutdown would not be counted. Unemployment rose slightly, to 4 percent, reflecting the workers that were furloughed during the partial government shutdown. Some employers are still reluctant to offer higher pay, which has made it harder for them to find and keep workers, she said.

The partial government shutdown that ended last Friday, which was the longest on record, may have had a slight impact on the report.

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