U.S. employment report
Retail, construction, health care, financial activities and manufacturing provided the biggest boost to a bumper payroll report for January.
Employers added 257,000 new positions last month according to the BLS, while prior data was boosted by revisions that added 147,000 jobs to the 2014 tally. For all of last year the economy generated 3.157 million workers – the biggest tally since 1999. The November reading was revised to a gain of 423,000 new positions and the largest single monthly addition in four-and-a-half years, which means that all together the quarterly average jumped to 336,000 jobs. And while the impressive report is prompting investors to reassess their view on just how strong the labor market is, the unemployment rate rose by one-tenth of a percent to 5.7% as more workers poured back into the labor force.
The pace of average hourly earnings also rose to 2.2% on a year-on-year basis, yet that still has to prove its force as a threat to strong deflationary pressures engulfing the global economy. Construction (+39,000) and manufacturing (+22,000) showed acceleration in the pace of employment growth. The participation rate rose only marginally to 62.9 (+0.2). The early indications are for firmer bond yields and another improvement in the fortunes for the stock market.
Chart shows broad gains for most sectors in January