Employers across the United States added 257,000 jobs in January, a number better than the Labor Department expected.
The unemployment rate, which is calculated from a separate survey of households, rose to 5.7% from 5.6%, the Labor Department said Friday. However, that’s mainly because an additional 703,000 Americans, including previously discouraged workers, surged back into the labor force to look for work or take jobs.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected employment gains of 230,000, according to their median forecast. In addition to this, job gains for November and December were revised up by a total 147,000.
The economy has added more than 1 million jobs in the past three months, which is the best such stretch since 1997.
Wage growth picked up last month as well after falling in December. Average hourly earnings increased 8 cents to $24.75 an hour.
Businesses added 267,000 jobs on broad-based gains. Federal, state and local governments removed 10,000. Healthcare added the most with 50,000. Retailers added 46,000 jobs while construction, and professional and business services each added 39,000. Leisure and hospitality added 37,000; financial firms, 26,000; and manufacturers, 22,000.