Market Overview

Nonfarm, Private Payrolls Strong While Unemployment Rate Ticks Higher

Nonfarm, Private Payrolls Strong While Unemployment Rate Ticks Higher

The new administration has long promised jobs growth, and the first numbers of the Trump era are officially in.

According to the Department of Labor's January employment report released Friday, the U.S. unemployment rate crept up to 4.8 percent, while labor force participation increased 0.2 percent and 227,000 workers were added to nonfarm payrolls. The latter figure beat the consensus estimate by about 52,000 and the revised December report by 70,000.

In January, retail trade, construction and financial activities saw the greatest workforce expansions, while manual labor, wholesale trade and information saw little month-to-month change.

Economist Mohamed El-Erian was ambivalent about the complete report.

"Substantial job growth and the edging up of the labor participation rate are good news,” El-Erian told Benzinga. “But this is offset by renewed weakness in wage growth, suggesting that structural challenges are having a significant influence."

Average hourly earnings rose by $0.03 to $26, and with average work weeks of 34.4 hours, the adjustment yields an average annual income of $46,509.

Apart from January’s preliminary figures, the department also revised November nonfarm payrolls to 164,000 from an initial report of 204,000. This change coupled with a 1,000-point increase in December yielded a net, two-month employment gain 39,000 less than what had previously been reported.


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