151,000 new jobs in January, somewhat less than the 190K forecast, but the unemployment rate fell to 4.9% and wages up, a wash on revisions.
Retailers added almost 58,000 jobs last month, the most since November 2014, and the health care industry took on another 44,000 workers. Perhaps most surprising was a 29,000 gain in hiring at manufacturers, the biggest increase since August 2013.
Payrolls picked up at producers of fabricated metals, automobiles, food and furniture.
The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 190,000 gain in overall payrolls last month, with estimates ranging from gains of 142,000 to 260,000.
December payrolls were revised down to 262,000 from 292,000 and November employment was revised up to 280,000 from 252,000. The revisions to these months subtracted a total of 2,000 jobs to overall payrolls.
Friday’s data showed a much-awaited pickup in wage growth is starting to manifest itself. Average hourly earnings rose 0.5 percent from a month earlier to $25.39. The year-over-year increase of 2.5 percent followed a 2.7 percent jump in the 12 months ended in December, which was the biggest advance since mid-2009.
So things continue to improve at reasonable pace. I’m sure any of the Republicans running for president this year can find a way to completely ruin that in 2017.