How did the shutdown affect the January jobs report?

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While the new jobs report was higher than expected, the jobs report for December was adjusted down by 70,000 jobs from 312,000 jobs created that month to 222,000.

Some of the best forecasters in the country had predicted job gains of about 170,000, a substantially lower figure.

The U.S. Labor Department reports that non-farm payrolls surged by 304,000 last month. Sales of existing homes plunged in December and fell 3.1 percent in 2018 from the previous year.

Despite the Trump administration's ongoing trade war with China, the manufacturing sector also added 13,000 jobs.

The partial shutdown of federal agencies may have ended (for at least a couple more weeks), but the effects of that episode are still being observed.

Still, the Labor Department said that the number of people employed part time who wanted to work full time jumped by about 500,000, to 5.1 million, in January.

The unemployment rate did rise in January to 4 percent from 3.9 percent, the Labor Department said, but mostly for a technical reason: The number of people counted as temporarily unemployed jumped 175,000, with most of that increase consisting of federal workers and contractors affected by the shutdown. Leisure and hospitality led, adding 74,000 jobs while construction added 52,000. "Nearly all of this increase occurred in the private sector and may reflect the impact of the partial federal government shutdown", it said.

The labor force participation rate continued to defy expectations, rising for the second consecutive month to 63.2% from 63.1%.

Economists point to the job report as proof of the economy's underlying strength, despite noise from the markets or politicians.

Numerous remaining furloughed federal employees were classified as "employed but absent from work", so those employees were not counted in the unemployment rate.

The US economy added 304,000 jobs in January, a surprisingly strong month of hiring as employers continue to bring in new workers. Today's employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will capture some of the disruption caused by the shutdown, but not all, due to differences in methodology of the two primary surveys that inform the jobs report. But the unemployment rate was 4 percent, which was a small hike from the 3.9 percent level in December. Professional and business services employment increased by 30,000 jobs last month.

"I am right now planning our first family vacation in three years", she said.

Wall Street breathed a sigh of relief this month as policymakers sent strong signals they meant to pause, meaning investors could be in for an unwelcome surprise.

The string of job growth underscores the long economic expansion since the Great Recession.

The average workweek was unchanged at 34.5 hours in January.

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