Another strong month for the employment figures, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the economy added 304,000 jobs in January. That compares with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018, and 241,000 over the past three months.
The headline unemployment figure ticked up to 4.0 percent, which the BLS attributed in part to the now-ended government shutdown. But federal employees on furlough during the partial government shutdown were counted as employed in the establishment survey, because they worked or received pay for the pay period that included the 12th of the month.
In January, jobs in leisure and hospitality rose by 74,000, construction employment rose by 52,000, and employment in health care increased by 42,000. The BLS also reported that there were 17,000 jobs added in the category of “sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores.”