The U.S. jobs market added 225,000 jobs in January after a gain of 158,000 had been predicted, continuing over a decade of record-setting economic expansion.
Growth in U.S. labor exceeded estimations for the month by nearly 42 percent. The construction industry gained 44,000 new jobs in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent Employment Situation News Release. In 2019, the field’s average was 12,000 jobs added per month.
Leisure and hospitality maintained its sharp year-end increase with 36,000 jobs gained in January. Healthcare also saw a 36,000 increase, while transportation grew by 28,000, and professional and business services grew by 21,000 in January.
“I can say that it pretty much blew estimates out of the water,” Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P Global told The Washington Post. “It’s just a really nice report. I’d also say that the recession fears of last year seem to be a thing of the past when you look at this report.”
Manufacturing continued its downward trajectory with 12,000 jobs lost. The industry’s months of sustained downturn follow a General Motors strike resolved late last year, and trade disputes with China. “Motor vehicles and parts” manufacturing jobs saw a loss of 11,000 jobs, according to the BLS report.
Breaking its 50-year low, the unemployment rate rose by .1, reaching 3.6 percent. At the same time, the labor force participation rate ticked up to 63.4 percent, a .2 percent increase that brings this measurement to its highest point since June 2013.
The BLS has yet to release figures detailing January’s state-by-state growth. Adjusted for seasonality, December’s upticks in construction were largest in Texas, Ohio and Florida, increasing by 3,800, 3,400 and 3,100 new hires, respectively. The month’s losses in manufacturing (also seasonally adjusted) saw 1,900 fewer jobs in New York, 1,800 fewer in Massachusetts and 1,400 jobs lost in Iowa.