>> America has another solid month of hiring under its belt, the greatest signal yet of an economy flexing its muscle to start 2019. Hiring in January defied expectations of a major slowdown, according to the monthly jobs report released Friday, surging to an 11 month high. 304,000 new jobs were created despite a partial government shutdown for most of the month and an economic slump amongst some major trading partners, including China.
I'm Conway Gittens in New York. While the longest government shutdown in US history did not show up in the hiring data, it did show up in the unemployment rate. Jobless figures jumped to a seven month high of 4%. The biggest likely disappointment in the data, paychecks. The growth and average hourly earnings was much slower than it has been in recent months, up only $0.03.
Wall Street cheered the numbers as investors bet they weren't strong enough to push the federal reserve out of its new wait and see strategy laid out by Chairman Jerome Powell, just a few days ago.>> Economic performance