“Job growth in January shattered expectations, with nonfarm payrolls surging by 304,000 despite a partial government shutdown that was the longest in history, the Labor Department reported Friday,” Jeff Cox reports for CNBC. “The unemployment rate ticked higher to 4 percent, a level where it had last been in June, a likely effect of the shutdown, according to the department. However, officials said federal workers generally were counted as employed during the period because they received pay during the survey week of Jan. 12. On balance, federal government employment actually rose by 1,000.”

“Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected payrolls to rise by 170,000 and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 3.9 percent,” Cox reports. “In all, it was a powerful performance at a time when economists increasingly have said they expect growth to slow in 2019.”

“The job creation saw muted wage growth, with average hourly earnings rising just 3 cents on the month, or 0.1 percent, well below the 0.3 percent expected gain. On a year-over-year basis, though, that still amounted to a 3.2 percent increase, consistent with the past few months and around the highest levels of the recovery,” Cox reports. “Multiple sectors helped contribute to the spike in job creation. Services rose by 224,000 and goods-producing industries increased by 72,000. Leisure and hospitality added 74,000 positions, with the biggest gain coming in bars and restaurants, which rose by 37,000. Construction saw a gain of 52,000, bringing its 12-month total to 338,000. Elsewhere, health care contributed 42,000, bringing its yearly gain to 368,000. Transportation and warehousing added 27,000 and retail grew by 21,000 following a year where the sector showed a total gain of just 26,000. Professional and business services were up 30,000 and manufacturing increased by 13,000, bringing that sector’s 12-month total to 261,000.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, this is good news for the U.S. economy and for Apple (the U.S. is by far Apple’s largest market), as consumers with discretionary income are more likely to purchase Apple’s products and services.

U.S. job creation surged way more than expected in December – report – January 3, 2019