U.S. Added 304,000 Jobs in December

February 01, 2019 at 9:40 AM

The U.S. economy added 304,000 jobs in January, nearly twice as many as economists had expected. Wages grew 3% to an average $27.56 per hour.

Job gains were mostly in the construction, healthcare, hospitality and transportation sectors, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manufacturing netted 13,000 positions, as a 20,000-job gain for durable goods makers offset a 7,000-job decline elsewhere.

BLS says the government shutdown caused the nation’s unemployment rate to rise to 4% from 3.9% in November.

On average, the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs per month last year. Economists say monthly growth must average about 100,000 positions to keep pace with an expanding working-age population.