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Meanwhile, wages also rose slightly by 0.1-percent, while unemployment also ticked up to four-percent from 3.9-percent.

Employers added 304,000 net new positions last month - the highest in nearly a year and almost double what economists had predicted - while growth in worker pay held steady just above inflation, according to the report. The BLS also indicated that almost all of this increase was in the private sector and may reflect the impact of the partial federal government shutdown. Participation rate is the highest it's been since 2013, and job gains were increasing pretty broad based across a lot of different categories, this jobs report is very, very solid.

"Some of the unexpectedly large jump in hiring appeared to have been pulled forward from December, which was revised down from 312,000 jobs to 222,000", CNN reported.

Wall Street rose following the report, with stocks boosted by the jobs numbers and a rosy report on activity in the USA manufacturing sector. The continued strong job growth in construction is perplexing given the sector's reported chronic labor shortage, but provides a good sign for the housing sector. Mortgage rates have fallen back after almost touching 5 percent previous year, but the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes still declined in December. This pushed up the unemployment rate by one-tenth of a percentage point from 3.9 percent in December.

Numerous remaining furloughed federal employees were classified as "employed but absent from work", so those employees were not counted in the unemployment rate. That indicates that consumers have been spending freely on recreation, as paychecks have grown and the unemployment rate has sunk.

But consumer sentiment dropped to a more than two-year low, a reminder of the uncertainty over the economic expansion, now in its ninth year and the second longest on record.

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Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said that many federal workers and contractors likely went out and found part-time work during the 35-day shutdown.

The US economy added 304,000 jobs in January, a surprisingly strong month of hiring as employers continue to bring in new workers.

What do the U.S. jobs numbers mean for Wall Street? "U.S. companies have not let up one bit on their hiring in response to risks out there in the world economy".

And manufacturing rose by 13,000.

Private sector payrolls were up by 296,000, with big increases seen in the construction and leisure and hospitality industries. Retail payrolls rebounded by 20,800 jobs.

Overall, healthcare employment increased by 368,000 jobs over the past year, according to the bureau.


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