The economy added 227,000 new jobs in January, according to the first monthly jobs report released under President Donald Trump by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Friday.
The labor force participation rate rose to 62.9 percent, up from 62.7 percent in former President Barack Obama’s final jobs report last month.
The 227,000 jobs figure beat Wall Street expectations of 175,000. The unemployment rate increased slightly from December, ticking up from 4.7 percent to 4.8 percent.
Wall Street closely watches the monthly figure to determine when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again. The Fed increased rates for the second time in a decade in December, but didn’t raise the interest rate during its first meeting under the Trump administration, which wrapped up Wednesday.
The sectors that saw job growth included retail trade, construction and financial activities. Retail employment rose by 46,000 in January and by 229,000 over the past year. The construction sector added 36,000 jobs.
Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector rose in January, with 34,000 new jobs added. Manufacturing added 5,000 jobs, a meager increase from December. The modest growth in the manufacturing sector comes as the new president promises to impose tariffs on foreign imports.
The number of long-term unemployed people (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), remained unchanged at 1.9 million in December (representing 24.4 percent of the unemployed). Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed Americans declined by 244,000.
The civilian labor force increased by 584,000 jobs in January, after the BLS accounted for annual adjustments to population control.
The report comes as President Trump turns his focus to a speedy renovation or replacement of the North American Free Trade Agreement. (RELATED: Trump Shreds Clinton-Era Trade Deal)
After months of criticizing the jobs report numbers under former President Obama, Friday’s report is the new Presidents’ first chance to defend his own jobs numbers.
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