Job growth in the U.S. rose solidly during January while wages rebounded, more evidence of strength in the economy that put a mid-year increase in interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank back on the table.
Payrolls, excluding farms, increased by 257,000 in January, reported the Labor Department on Friday, outstripping forecasts by Wall Street.
Meanwhile, data for the months of November and December was revised upwards to show another 147,000 jobs had been created than what was previously reported. This has bolstered the opinions that consumers would have sufficient muscle to carry the U.S. economy through choppy global seas.
At 423,000, the gain in November was the largest of any month since May of 2010. At that time, employment was given a boost by hiring by the government for its national census.
Over the last three months, over 1 million new jobs have been established. It is the first time that milestone was reached since 1997.
Unemployment rose by one-tenth of one percent to end January at 5.7%. However, that was due to Americans pouring back into the work force to look for work, which is a show of an increase in confidence.
The U.S. dollar made a rally against a basket of different currencies as prices fell for U.S. Treasury debt when investors moved their bets forward on a hike in rates.
Stocks in the U.S. were marginally higher after the announcement. Rate futures made a shift to show that traders are now expecting an increase in interest rates in September. Prior to the jobs report, traders were pointing at October.
January was the eleventh consecutive month of gains in jobs above 200,000, which is the longest streak for that number since 1994.
Lackluster growth overseas as well as lower prices on oil have weighed on business investments and exports in the U.S., but the latest jobs report suggests the U.S. economy has continued being the bright spot in an otherwise gloomy economic outlook globally.
Last month wages were up 12 cents, their largest increase since June of 2007.