U.S. job growth blew past expectations in the first month of the year as the labor market continued to breeze through inflation-fighting monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve.
The Labor Department released its monthly jobs report for January at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday. Here are the numbers, compared to Wall Street estimates:
Non-farm payrolls: +517,000 vs. +188,000 expected
Unemployment rate: 3.4% vs. 3.6% expected
Average hourly earnings, month-over-month: +0.3% vs +0.3% expected
Average hourly earnings, year-over-year: +4.4% vs. +4.3% expected
Friday's shock numbers mark a sharp jump from the prior month, which saw payrolls rise by an upwardly revised 260,000. The unemployment rate slipped to 3.4% in January, the lowest since 1969.
The blowout figures come just as the employment picture began to show some signs of moderation, with monthly data on a downtrend in recent months before January's outlier report.
The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by 450 basis points, or 4.5%, since March 2022 in an effort to slow the economy and rein in inflation. Friday's data shows that even with these moves, the U.S. labor market remains strong.