Friday marks the first monthly jobs report of the Trump presidency. U.S. non-farm private employment rose much more than expected in January, boosting optimism over the health of the labor market, industry data showed on Wednesday.
Total non-farm employment is expected to increase by 175,000. Company executives could be hiring in anticipation of a business-friendly environment under the new administration. The economy had also been heating up under former President Obama and added over 14 million jobs since bottoming out in January 2010.
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The country has added a monthly average of 204,000 nonfarm payroll jobs over the past two years, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The hope of market observers for a solid month of job growth were raised last Wednesday when payroll processor ADP reported 246,000 new workers added to private payrolls in January, surpassing economists’ expectations significantly. Particularly positive note seen in the report was that goods-producing companies showed life, hiring 46,000 workers, the biggest increase in two years.
The expected official unemployment rate remained at 4.7 percent in January. But a slight increase in the unemployment rate isn't always a bad thing. Because the unemployment rate is based on the number of workers in the labor force, an increase in that total can cause the rate rise just because there are more people looking for work.
However recently, wages have been an area of concern for economists. As the labor tightens, wages would expectedly go up as employers compete for the lopping supply of qualified job candidates. Hourly wages increased by 2.5 percent in December, which is about average for the past decade.
Economists expect to see rising wages continue largely thanks to minimum wages increases in 21 states, many of which took effect at the beginning of January.