US Economy Adds 353,000 Jobs in Surprising Start to 2024 | Report

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 02/02/2024
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics published on Friday, the US economy gained an astounding 353,000 jobs last month. This was a stronger-than-expected growth to start 2024 and demonstrated the US economy's resiliency in an election year.

The previous month's 3.7% unemployment rate persisted. For a record 24 months running, the unemployment rate in the country has remained below 4%.

Joe Brusuelas, chief economist and partner at RSM US, told CNN that "the fact that the unemployment rate has remained below 4% for 24 months straight for the first time since 1967 is very extraordinary." "And when I read this article, I can not stop repeating, 'This is incredible.'" Here, "remarkable" is the key word.

More than a year ago, it seemed all but obvious that the Federal Reserve's aggressive rate-hiking campaign would have an impact on the job market and that it would even be in collapse. However, after eleven increases and four pauses, the US labor market is experiencing one of its longest expansions this century.

The market had anticipated that the Fed would lower rates as early as March and that it would do so up to six times in 2024, but January's job growth crushed those hopes. The CME FedWatch Tool shows that investors' chance of a March rate decrease fell from 38% to less than 20% on Friday.

Still, the better-than-expected result ought to improve Americans' middling feelings toward the economy. And it should not derail the Fed from its present course since, according to Brusuelas, officials have hinted at three rate reduction this year.

"From here on, the Fed will need to exercise extreme caution in managing expectations," he said. Powell said that "it is only a question of not if, but when" the central bank would make cuts.

According to BLS statistics, most major sectors had employment growth in January, with the exception of mining and logging.

With 112,000 new jobs created, private health and education services kept up the employment growth momentum. Out of them, 100,400 went toward health and social assistance, 74,000 went toward professional and commercial services, and 45,200 went toward retail commerce.

According to BLS statistics, the leisure and hospitality sector created only 11,000 jobs in January, but it was still the 36th consecutive month of employment growth. Just 0.4% (75,000 jobs) separated this vital service sector—which was severely damaged at the start of the pandemic—from returning to its pre-pandemic employment levels as of January 2020.

Leisure, hospitality, and other service industries have profited from Americans' strong willingness to spend money on experiences throughout the pandemic's recovery.


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