U.S. job growth surged in January, with employers hiring the most workers in 11 months, pointing to underlying strength in the economy despite a darkening outlook that has left the Federal Reserve cautious about further interest rate hikes this year.
The Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report on Friday showed no “discernible” impact on job growth from a 35-day partial government shutdown. But the longest shutdown in history, which ended a week ago, pushed up the unemployment rate to a seven-month high of 4.0 percent.
The report came two days after the Fed signaled its three-year interest rate hike campaign might be ending because of rising headwinds to the economy, including financial market volatility and slowing global growth.
Nonfarm payrolls jumped by 304,000 jobs last month, the largest gain since February 2018, the Labor Department said. Job growth was boosted by hiring at construction sites, retailers and business services as well as at restaurants and hotels.
But data for November and December was revised down to show 70,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported. The economy needs to create roughly 100,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population.
Read more in Reuters.