Job growth in the U.S. was much stronger than expected for the month of January, according to the latest data from the Labor Department.
Last month, the U.S. added 467,000 jobs which is far higher than the expected 150,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate ticked up to 4%.
Heather Long, of The Washington Post, pointed out that several sectors of the economy saw job gains in January.
Where were all of these January job gains?
It's pretty broad based (minus construction)
Public schools +29,000
Health care +18,000
— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) February 4, 2022
The strong job growth comes despite surging cases of COVID-19 that shattered last year’s records for the number of new infections recorded daily.
At the height of the Omicron wave last month, the country recorded over 1 million new infections in a single day.
As CNN noted, “Several of President Joe Biden’s top economic officials have warned that the January jobs report, set for release on Friday, is likely to show an ‘unusually low’ level of job gains, or even net losses, tied to high numbers of sick people who called out of work.“
Jared Bernstein told CNN earlier this week, “It turns out that the peak of Omicron cases coincided with when the payroll data was being collected.”
“If you were not at work, if you were on unpaid leave, you’re not counted as being on payroll,” he added.
Following the release of the report, Jason Furman, an economic adviser to former President Barack Obama, argued that it shows that “the economy no longer cares” about the coronavirus.
“January 2022 will be remembered as the month the virus ceased to be boss. It wreaked havoc [and] death at a terrible scale. But the economy no longer cares,” he tweeted Friday morning.
January 2022 will be remembered as the month the virus ceased to be boss. It wreaked havoc & death at a terrible scale. But the economy no longer cares. People returned to the workforce. The economy added jobs. Wages rose. You would barely know it happened from the economic data.
— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) February 4, 2022
Furman added, “People returned to the workforce. The economy added jobs. Wages rose. You would barely know it happened from the economic data.”
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