US Job Growth Tops Expectations

To hear President Donald Trump tell it, you'd think the USA job market was in the worst shape since the Great Depression.

With its January employment report, the government will publish its annual "benchmark" revisions and update the formulas it uses to smooth the data for regular seasonal fluctuations.

Both stocks and Treasuries rallied.

"Next month will be the first report that will give us data on the performance of the economy under President Trump", Baker said.

Working in Trump's favor, however, are an economy and a job market that remain on fundamentally sound footing. A previous version of the headline and the article incorrectly identified the January report as the best since June 2016.

All this suggests that we will see higher overall inflation, which raises expectations for higher interest rates.

Beyond the minimum wage, it will take time for the economy to feel the effects of Trump's policies.

Tax-return delay could hurt low-income families
Refundable means even if you didn't have any federal income tax withheld on wages earned, you could still get a refund. Since June 2014, state tax officials say they have blocked more than $500 million in fraudulent tax refunds.

Investors have looked kindly on Trump's pledges to slash taxes, reduce regulations and pump money into infrastructure through tax credits, believing they are likely to boost economic growth.

During the election campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly denounced the official unemployment rate of five per cent as false. "The unemployment rate is holding pretty steady, under five percent".

Finally, it's also worth nothing that there are other ways to measure the unemployment rate - the Bureau of Labor Statistics actually publishes six different readings each month - all of which have sightly different ways of determining who counts as unemployed. But they are right that the rate can be a flawed economic indicator.

The good news is that employers added 227,000 jobs to public and private payrolls, far more than the 175,000 jobs predicted by economists. It has even managed to reach close to full employment at 4.8 percent. The labor force participation rate, for instance, has fallen considerably since the last recession, and has failed to rebound. The construction sector added 36,000 jobs. Generally low-paying industries such as retail and hospitality showed strong growth, but so did better-paying sectors such as finance and business services.

The ISM said its non-manufacturing index edged down to 56.5 in January from a revised 56.6 in December, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the service sector.

Government employment fell into retreat in January (-10,000) and it was all at the state (-9,000) and local (-5,000) levels. Economists see no impact from a freeze on the hiring of civilian federal government workers, which took effect on January 22 - well after the survey period for nonfarm payrolls.

  • Megan Austin