U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs in January, starting 2018 on a slightly better pace than last year. Employers added an average of 181,000 jobs a month in 2017. Overall, the pace of hiring has gradually slowed each year since 2014, consistent with a tighter labor market in the later stages of an economic expansion.
The headline unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent for the fourth consecutive month, matching the lowest level since late 2000. The unemployment rate hasn’t fallen below 4 percent since December 2000, when it was 3.9 percent.
Construction, manufacturing and restaurants all showed strong job growth. Government payrolls grew by 4,000 last month. Average hourly earnings rose by 2.9 percent from a year earlier, the most since June 2009.