The Bureau of Labor Statistics published its January jobs report today revealing positive growth across the board for the U.S. economy. 257,000 positions were added to the economy last month, on track with predictions from the last few months. The national unemployment rate increase by .1 percent to 5.7% for the month. However, this slight increase is credited to an increase in the size of the labor force as a whole, rather than fewer people having jobs.
Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Bank, says,
The labor market recovery is finally hitting its stride.”
Average hourly wages grew by 0.5 percent in January- the strongest rate since 2008. In the last year wages have grown approximately 2.2 percent overall. The Federal Reserve announced earlier this year it would hold off increasing interest rates until it saw consistent wage growth in the US indicating a healthy economy. By the end of 2014, wages had only grown by 1.7 percent that year- just shy of the 2 percent required by the Fed for a rate hike.
For employees, the January figures suggest companies are now significantly hiring and working to retain employees by offering raises above the inflation rate.
Read more here- “This is a Great Jobs Report Across the Board,” (Neil Irwin, The New York Times)