The labor force participation rate budged slightly at 63.2 percent, with average hourly earnings improving by a marginal 3 cents to $27.56 after an adjusted 10-cent gain in December. Average weekly earnings fared better, rising 3.5 percent year-over-year.
"Today's jobs numbers show a strong and growing USA economy", Brady said on Friday. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.0 percent, the government said Friday.
It added that some of the federal workers classified themselves as "employed but absent from work" during the month, which would not have been included in the figures for unemployment. Many economists and investors took that as a sign that a rate increase is unlikely any time in the coming months. The jobs report also found that gains occurred mostly in the hospitality, construction, health care, transportation and warehousing industries.
The new numbers were welcome news for President Donald Trump, whose already-low public approval rating suffered in the wake of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
Economists point to the job report as proof of the economy's underlying strength, despite noise from the markets or politicians.
How did the shutdown affect jobs?
"The respectable employment data provides something of a relief, for now at least, for members of the Federal Reserve who have been bracing for the possibility of a more serious slowdown in the US economy", said Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com.More news: Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring
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Job seekers line up to apply during "Amazon Jobs Day", a job fair being held at the Amazon.com Fulfillment Center in Fall River, Massachusetts, U.S., August 2, 2017.
Tens of thousands of contracted federal employees that were not working during the government shutdown and are not legally entitled to compensation equal to the hours they missed may have been counted as unemployed in the DOL's numbers for January.
The unemployment rate inched up to 4 percent, and the shutdown contributed to the uptick, the department said. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by only 165,000 jobs in January. Stocks on Wall Street rose, while U.S. Treasury prices fell. It would also count contractors who did not work during this period as unemployed.
"Blockbuster job number distorted by workers forced to accept part time employment to make ends meet during government shutdown". "It's our job to educate our clients about the labor market".
The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies as traders focused on the tepid monthly wage gain.
Swonk cautioned that some quirks likely inflated last month's job gain.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.