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U.S. Labor Market Report Unambiguously Strong

January's U.S. nonfarm payrolls report was unambiguously strong, suggesting increased hiring, higher wages and growth in the labor force. Rising hourly earnings, in particular, support our long-held view that the labor market is tightening and the U.S. economy is growing steadily.

By the numbers

Nonfarm payrolls grew by a seasonally adjusted 257,000 jobs in January - an above-consensus rate.1 The government's previous estimates of new jobs were also revised sharply upward by a combined 147,000 jobs in November and December.1 The three-month average of 336,000 new jobs per month and six-month average of 282,000 jobs per month are stronger than the hiring rates seen during the economic recovery in the mid-2000s and not far below the peaks achieved during the '90s.1

The rise in wages noted in the report put to rest concerns that wages were on the decline. Average hourly earnings among private-sector workers rose 12… Read More …