U.S. economy adds 227000 jobs in January - the best figures since June

Analysts said USA exploration and production (E&P) companies responded to those higher prices by adding around 250 oil rigs over the past eight months, with even more spending expected on drilling over the next year or two. But the unemployment rate rose one-10th of a percentage point to 4.8% and wages increased modestly, suggesting that there was still some slack in the labour market.

President Donald Trump has vowed to make jobs the central focus of his White House and Republicans plan to offer a mix of tax cuts, reduced regulation and more spending on public works. The Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that 227,000 new jobs were created in January-over 50,000 more than economists were expecting.

January's job gain was the best since September, and it exceeded last year's average monthly gain of 187,000, according to the Labour Department.

While there's a great deal of anticipation surrounding steps that President Trump and the GOP-led Congress are expected to take to boost the economy, patience is advised.

However, as Andy Kiersz writes at Business Insider: "In recent months, the labor-force participation rate has mostly held steady, possibly indicating a tightening labor market as people who were previously discouraged from looking for work move back into the labor market".

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As an indication that the dark clouds in the resource sector may finally be dispersing, the not seasonally adjusted (NSA) unemployment rate in "mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction" improved to 6.8% in January from 8.1% 12 months prior. The majority of gains occurred in retail trade, construction, and financial activities.

Turning to some of the key unemployment rates. Manufacturing added 5,000 jobs, a meager increase from December.

"Job growth is critical in a rising interest rate environment", said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors in a statement reacting to the Labor Department release.

Average hourly earnings in construction were better than for all jobs, +3.2% including supervisory personnel and +3.5% for non-supervisory personnel. That's almost four million leaving the workforce every year. Average wages edged up 0.1% to $26 an hour. We're adding those jobs with the unemployment rate staying steady. The government said 157,000 new jobs were created in December instead of 156,000. Over the a year ago the manufacturing sector lost 46,000 jobs while government employment under the Obama administration jumped by 162,000 jobs.

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