U.S. Adds Better-Than-Expected 517,000 Jobs in January

Talk about exceeding expectations.

A Bloomberg survey of economists had the experts predicting the U.S. economy would add some 185,000 jobs in January.

Turns out when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the numbers Friday morning, it was nearly triple that.

Statistics released by the Labor Department showed the U.S. added 517,000 jobs in January. That dropped the national unemployment rate to 3.4%, below the 3.6% economists expected, according to Bloomberg. The 3.4% is the lowet since 1969.

Business Insider reported that job growth in December was revised from 223,000 to 260,000. November’s job creation was also revised from 256,000 in the last news release in January to 290,000 in Friday’s report, according to Business Insider. Friday’s news release came with revisions because of the annual benchmark process, “updated seasonal adjustment factors,” and industry changes.

“Revisions due to both the NAICS 2022 conversion and the benchmark process will affect more historical data than is typical in the annual benchmark process,” a news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics last month noted.

The government had earlier reported that job openings increased to 11 million in December, more than 500,000 over November’s numbers.

“More than 50 million Americans quit their jobs in 2022, compared to just 40 million in 2018 and 42 million in 2019,” Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, told Business Insider. “Rather than petering out, the Great Resignation remained in full swing throughout the year.”

At a press conference after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates 0.25% Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell talked about job growth.

“Although the pace of job gains has slowed over the course of the past year and nominal wage growth has shown some signs of easing, the labor market continues to be out of balance,” Powell said.