BUSINESS + ECONOMY

US employment beats expectations, January unemployment rate holds steady at 3.7%

Feb 2, 2024, 6:34 AM | Updated: 7:59 am

Now hiring sign...

A 'now hiring' sign is displayed in a retail store in Manhattan on January 5, in New York City. As the American economy continues to outperform expectations, the December jobs report showed that employers added 216,000 positions for the month as the unemployment rate held at 3.7%. (Mandatory Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Mandatory Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — US employers added 353,000 jobs in January 2024, and the unemployment rate
remained at 3.7 % according to the monthly report released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Utah Representative and Senior Economist for Zions Bank, Robert Spendlove discussed with KSL News Radio Friday morning. 

“353,000 [jobs added] that is a huge number. We were expecting 170,000, so this is much higher than the expectation and it shows that the labor market continues to grow really well,” he said. 

What about layoffs?

Utah Morning News Host Tim Hughes pointed out that Forbes had just reported layoffs were highest January. 

“Well, what’s happening is yes, layoffs are happening. But as quickly as those people are being laid off, they’re being scooped up by other companies other industries. That has been the big surprise for the past year, this remarkable resiliency of the economy of the labor market…we just keep being surprised by how strong the market is,” replied Spendlove. 

What will interest rates do?

Host Amanda Dickson asked how the Federal Reserve might react to the latest numbers.

“Well that and that’s the big issue because the markets have been expecting the FED to drop rates to bring down those interest rates. But what this this report shows is that the economy continue to be continues to be so strong,” said Spendlove.

“We saw wage growth jumping as well jumping by six tenths of a percent. So, it’s going to make it tougher for the Fed to bring down those rates if the economy continues to be coming along so strong.”

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US employment beats expectations, January unemployment rate holds steady at 3.7%