The economy added 225,000 jobs in January, giving us the first indication of the trajectory of the labor market in 2020. At the same time, the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.6%, which is actually positive news for the economy since it reflects the addition of new job seekers who were previously sitting out of the labor force. The labor force participation rate rose by two-tenths of a percent after months of stagnancy.
Job growth this month surpassed expectations and allows the Trump administration to continue to boast about the strong economy. Beneath the headline, however, employment in the manufacturing sector fell by 12,000, continuing a troublesome trend of weakness in that sector.
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