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US Job Growth Unaffected by Government Shutdown

Job growth in the United States saw its best of 11 months in January, according to the Department of Labor, despite the 35-day partial government shutdown that furloughed approximately 800,000 workers. On Feb.1, Reuters reported the Labor Department's findings that there was no "discernible" impact on job growth last month.

Hiring spiked in January in the construction, retail, business services, restaurant and hotel industries, Reuters states, coinciding with economists' predictions that the number of January jobs would see a gain of 165,000. Warmer temperatures created 52,000 jobs at construction sites—numbers last seen nearly a year ago and nearly double of December's record of 28,000. Leisure and hospitality exceeded construction jobs at 74,000, followed by professional and business services at 30,000, retail at 20,800 and manufacturing at 13,000.

As economists now set their sights on next month, they are keeping in mind the Federal Reserve's announcement last week to maintain current interest rates.

"The Fed … said it would be patient in raising borrowing costs further this year," Reuters reported. "The U.S. central bank removed language from its December policy statement that risks to the outlook were 'roughly balanced.'"

—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019