Increased job growth in January: 353K added, 4,100 in accounting!

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– Employment rose by 353,000 jobs in January, surpassing economists’ expectations
– Professional and business services added 74,000 jobs, including 4,100 jobs in accounting

In January, employers in the US added 353,000 jobs, exceeding economists’ expectations and indicating a strong start to the year for the job market. The unemployment rate remained steady at 3.7%. Professional and business services saw significant job gains, adding 74,000 jobs, including 4,100 jobs in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services. Other sectors such as healthcare, retail trade, and social assistance also saw strong job growth.

Alongside job gains, average hourly earnings also increased, rising by 19 cents or 0.6% to $34.55 in January. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.5%. Additionally, employees are working slightly shorter hours, with the average workweek declining by 0.2 hours to 34.1 hours in January.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also revised upward the job numbers for November and December. November saw an increase of 9,000 jobs, bringing the total gain to 182,000 jobs, while December’s job numbers were revised up by 117,000, reaching 333,000 jobs. Combined, employment in November and December was 126,000 jobs higher than previously reported.

Despite the positive job growth in January, there were still job cuts in certain sectors. The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that U.S.-based employers announced 82,307 job cuts in January, which was a 136% increase from the previous month. However, this was a 20% decrease from the number of job cuts announced in January 2023. Financial companies announced the most job cuts in January, followed by the technology sector.

Overall, the strong job gains in January indicate a robust and growing job market. President Biden highlighted the economy’s strength, noting wage gains and employment gains of over 350,000 in January. However, job cuts in certain sectors suggest ongoing challenges in specific industries.

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