The partial federal government shutdown did little to discourage U.S. employers from hiring in January, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s latest jobs report.
The report, published on Friday, noted that 304,000 new nonfarm jobs were added in January, beating MarketWatch expectations of a 172,000 gain. The more modest forecast was attributed to the fact that December hiring was so strong.
“These January job growth numbers are strong and continue a long period of job growth – January was the 100th straight month of job growth since 2010,” said Sue Holloway, CCP, CECP, director of executive compensation strategy at WorldatWork.
However, the DOL did downwardly revise its December figures to show an addition of 222,000 jobs instead of the originally reported 312,000 jobs.
That was the biggest monthly revision seen since 2010.
The DOL report also compared to ADP’s jobs survey, which was released on Wednesday. ADP reported an increase of 213,000 jobs for the month. However, ADP’s survey does not include government jobs.
But even though employers didn’t seem fussed about the government’s shutdown, it did have a slight negative impact on unemployment: The unemployment rate inched up to 4% from 3.9%.
As to wages, the average hourly rate rose just 3 cents to $27.56, which compared to a 10-cent gain in December.
“The tight labor market continues the pressure on employers to improve rewards to attract and retain workers,” Holloway said. “Wage growth continues and employers are also enhancing other reward elements to compete and win in today’s war for talent where workers have more bargaining power.”
About the Author
Stephanie N. Rotondo is a staff writer at WorldatWork.