In December, job growth was modest while wage growth exceeded expectations; in January, quite the opposite happened.
The U.S. added 227,000 new jobs in January, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. January marked the 76th consecutive month of job growth in the U.S.
While job growth was a pleasant surprise, other areas of the report were mixed. The department revised its December numbers up – from 156,000 to 157,000 – and its November numbers down – from 204,000 to 164,000. In total, that means job growth in those two months was 39,000 lower than previously reported.
And despite the boom in jobs, hourly wages rose a mere 3 cents – quite the change from December’s rise of 10 cents. And while economists expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 4.7 percent, it increased slightly to 4.8 percent.
While the report certain had its low points, there are reasons to be optimistic, according to economist Alan MacEachin. "This report suggests both ongoing strength in the jobs market and elevated confidence among employers about future business prospects,” MacEachin told Forbes.
“What's more, there still appears to be an ample supply of available workers to hire to satisfy the robust demand for labor. I expect this trend to continue to push wages higher since the supply of workers is not unlimited and employers will need to compete more with each other for workers as they pursue their growth plans."
Have you seen more competition for in-demand talent lately? Check out how to find candidates for those hard-to-fill positions.