US Jobs Rise In January; Revisions A Plus

Hiring increased in January after accelerating more than previously estimated at the end of 2012, evidence the U.S. labor market was making progress even as lawmakers quarreled over the federal budget.

Payrolls rose 157,000 following a revised 196,000 advance in the prior month and a 247,000 surge in November, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The revisions added a total of 127,000 jobs to the employment count in November and December. The jobless rate increased to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent.

Sustained hiring gains will give incomes a lift, buffering American workers from the sting of higher payroll taxes and helping them keep spending. At the same time, bigger employment advances are needed to drive down a jobless rate that Federal Reserve officials say is too high.

“Improvement in the labor market is continuing,” Jonathan Basile, a U.S. economist at Credit Suisse in New York, said before the report. “Even though there were concerns about the fiscal cliff, it looks like they did not show up in hiring decisions.”

Stock-index futures maintained gains after the figures, with the contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in March rising 0.4 percent to 1,499.8 at 8:35 a.m. in New York.

The median forecast of 90 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 165,000 in January payrolls. Projections ranged from gains of 115,000 to 230,000 following an initially reported 155,000 increase in December.


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell