The U.S. Labor Department says 467,000 new jobs were created in January, surpassing most economic forecasts. Michael Hicks, the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University, calls the report “surprisingly strong,” given the surge of COVID-19-related cases in recent weeks.
Job gains were broad-based, with the biggest increases in leisure and hospitality (151,000), professional and business services (86,000) and retail (61,000).
“A total of 467,000 new jobs were created, and revisions to November and December added a whopping 700,000 total jobs to the preliminary numbers,” said Hicks. “The revisions are done annually to update the seasonal adjustment, and added jobs for every month since August. This technical adjustment offers a much stronger view of recent economic performance.”
In a separate report, the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4%, from 3.9% the month before because more people were looking for work.