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Food services and drinking places added 36,600 jobs in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and now employ more than 12.1 million people-up by more than 280,000 over the past 12 months.

In January, average hourly earnings for all private-sector workers rose by 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to 27.56 USA dollars, following a 10-cent gain in December. Last year saw more job creation than the previous two years, with 2.6 million new jobs over the course of the year compared with 2.2 million in 2017 and 2.3 million in 2016.For the full year of 2018, the average monthly gain was 223,000.

"It's great way to celebrate 100 consecutive months of jobs gains, which is a record". While some positions grew, the United States government shutdown led to a higher unemployment rate. Workers have seen a streak of relatively robust gains as employers have had to pay more to attract them. That lowered the annual increase in wages to 3.2 percent from 3.3 percent in December, giving the employment report a Goldilocks feel. The impact of the partial federal government shutdown contributed to the uptick in these measures. The report came two days after the Fed signaled its three-year interest rate hike campaign might be ending because of rising headwinds to the economy, including financial market volatility and softening global growth.

The December jobs report was a series of numbers that range from fantastic to fantastical.

The Labor Department says 304,000 jobs were added in January, well above economists' expectations.

That data would not show up in the jobs report, but as the federal government tries to replace its aging workforce, "that's the kind of harm that will build up over years", Chamberlain said. Job growth was boosted by hiring at construction sites, retailers and business services as well as at restaurants, hotels and amusement parks. The increase was because some furloughed federal workers and government contractors took on part-time jobs to make ends meet when they not paid during the shutdown.

Non-farm payroll expansion of 304,000 jobs far exceeded 165,000 estimates.

On a monthly basis, from December to January, wages barely rose, though.

MARTIN: All right. NPR's Yuki Noguchi for us this morning with those new jobs numbers.

The 380,000 furloughed federal workers counted as "employed" in the Establishment Survey, which calculates payroll numbers, but unemployed in the Household Survey, which calculates unemployment rate.

This metric is closely watched as a sign of the health of the labor market, since people who want to work full-time should be able to find jobs in such a "hot" market.

Construction employment rose by 52,000 in January.

USA economic growth is slowing from its rapid 2018 pace, but the continued robust gains in employment may cause pause to commentators that have been calling for recession.

While the Dow Jones estimate was for only 170,000 new jobs in January's nonfarm payrolls, there was a net downward revision of 70,000 payrolls when looking at the combined revisions for December and November. The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not reflect those of Berenberg Capital Markets, LLC.


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