The US economy added 467,000 jobs in January, exceeding expectations for job growth despite the surge in the Omicron variant of Covid-19, according to monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number is welcome news and contradict’s ADP’s report earlier this week that the economy would lose 301,000 nonfarm payroll jobs due to the surge in the new Covid-19 variant.
The jobless rates for white people and adult men ticked up to 3.4 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively. Women’s employment grew by 1.17 per cent since January 2021 and grew by 0.4 per cent since December.
Hispanic unemployment grew by 0.96 percentage points since December. But employment for Hispanic women 20 years and older fell by 0.47 per cent since December 2021 whereas Hispanic men 20 years and older’s employmment grew by almost a percentage point since December 2021. Employment for Black women 20 years and older grew by 1.07 percentage points since December whereas employment for Black men in the same age group grew by 3.73 percentage points, albeit they had fewer jobs overall.
The leisure and hospitality sectors grew the most in the last month, a sign people are not concerned about dining out despite the surge in Omicron. The sector added 151,000 jobs overall, with 108,000 jobs added in food service and drinking places, and the accommodations industry added 23,000.
Wages also grew exponentially since January 2021, increasing by 5.3 per cent and by 0.7 per cent since December. In addition, employment in the month of December was higher than originally reported. The initial BLS report showed the economy added 148,951 jobs when it in fact added 149,162 jobs.
The numbers are welcome news for President Joe Biden, as he seeks to sell the idea that the United States economy is returning with strength since taking office. It also is welcome news to counteract widespread inflation in the economy, mostly when it comes to groceries and gas.