The government shutdown and temporary displacement of some workers didn’t cause the strong US labor market to miss a beat. Today’s jobs report reinforces that gains have been accelerating. That’s good news for the economy and markets.
Big Job Gains in January’s Report
All told, the US economy picked up 304,000 jobs in January. That’s stronger than expected, even taking into account the big downward revision to December’s payroll numbers. The recent job gains remain impressive, even after nearly a decade of steady progress. The lofty numbers of the past few months aren’t likely to last, but even the trailing 12-month average change in nonfarm payrolls is the highest in more than two years (Display).
The government shutdown caused a few distortions to the latest data, but we expect the distortions to reverse next month…assuming the government doesn’t close its doors again. In any case, the shutdown clearly didn’t derail the broad strength in the labor market.