The January jobs report is out and the U.S. has added a much stronger-than-expected 225,000 jobs, well above Wall Street estimates for a 158,000 gain. The unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.6%, but for the right reason as the labor force participation rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 63.4%, matching its highest level since June 2013. Average hourly earnings rose 3.1% year-over-year to $28.44, ahead of estimates.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were looking for payroll growth of 158,000 and the jobless rate to stay at 3.5%, its lowest in more than 50 years… However, the employment-to-population ratio in the household survey rose to 61.2%, its highest since November 2008 and 0.5 percentage points higher than a year ago.
There was more good news for workers: Average hourly earnings rose 3.1% over a year ago to $28.44, ahead of estimates for 3% growth. That marked 18 consecutive months of wage gains above 3%, as the initially reported 2.9% for December was revised up to 3%.
The average work week was unchanged at 34.3 hours. Previous months’ revisions also gave a slight boost to the jobs count. November’s estimate rose 5,000 to 256,000 while December was moved up 2,000 to 147,000.
MacDailyNews Take: Good news for the U.S., Apple’s biggest market by far, is good news for Apple!