The economy added 200,000 jobs in January and unemployment held at 4.1% according to the January jobs report released by the Labor Department. November’s and December’s totals were revised upward by an additional 24,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate has dropped from 4.8% to 4.1% over the last year. It has been at 4.1%, the lowest it’s been since December 2000, for four straight months. The U.S. economy has added jobs for eighty-eight straight months.
Perhaps the strongest revelation is that wages have begun to rise, increasing by 2.9% versus last year. Economists believe wages will continue to grow as the labor market tightens.
The unemployment rate is expected to fall into the mid-3% range this year, boosted by the GOP-passed tax overhaul passed in December. The last time it was lower than this level was December 2000 when it was at 3.9%.
Economic growth however, may stay below 3%. The economy grew at 2.3% last year, better than the 1.5% of the year before, but below the target of the 3% the current administration has set.