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US Payrolls Surprise as Jobless Rate Hits 53-Year Low

  • Employers added 517,000 jobs in January, above all estimates
  • Report raises doubts about a looming recession: economist
Bloomberg business news
US Added 517,000 Jobs in January, Far Exceeding Forecasts

The US labor market burned red-hot in January as hiring unexpectedly surged and unemployment fell to a 53-year low, defying recession forecasts and adding pressure on the Federal Reserve to keep raising interest rates.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 517,000 last month after an upwardly revised 260,000 gain in December, a Labor Department report showed Friday. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.4%, the lowest since May 1969 and average hourly earnings grew at steady clip.