US Unemployment falls to 4.9%

US Jobs report

The US economy added 151,000 jobs in January, as the unemployment rate fell to 4.9%.

Analysts had predicted the US economy would add about 190,000 jobs but would hold steady at a 5% unemployment rate.

Average hourly earnings rose more than expected, at 0.5%, while the labor-force participation rate rose to 62.7% from 62.6%.

Deutsche Bank’s John Tierney wrote in a note to clients on Friday that strong job gains above 200,000 have been boosted by reemploying the unemployed and transferring workers from non-payroll sectors.

Several economists say the downward shift is a temporary, seasonal drop related to layoffs on temporary holiday jobs, and a bit of pull back from the 292,000 jobs created in December.

 

Here’s what Wall Street was expecting from the report.

  • Nonfarm payrolls:+190,000
  • Unemployment rate: 5.0%
  • Average hourly earnings month-on-month: 0.3%
  • Average hourly earnings year-on-year: 2.2%
  • Average weekly hours worked: 34.5

More to come later in the day.