The U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in January in the last employment report of the the Barack Obama administration. Unemployment was little changed at 4.8%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. President Donald Trump is inheriting a relatively strong economy based on years of work that Barack Obama and his administration did to bring us out of the horrible recession brought on, in part, because of George W. Bush-era deregulation and weak enforcement. Obama inherited a failing economy, with 589,000 jobs lost in January 2009 and an unemployment rate in February 2009 of 7.6%. Trump, on the other hand, is inheriting a much stronger jobs market, with 227,000 jobs added in January 2017 and an unemploymet rate of 4.8%. Trump's challenge is to continue the pattern of job growth and rising wages. The administration needs to create policies benefiting working people so the recovery continues.
In response to the January jobs numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
Over the year, average hourly earnings up 2.5%, slight slowing from December, reason the Fed should remain cautious about rates @aflcio— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) February 3, 2017
Last month’s biggest job gains were in retail trade (46,000), construction (36,000), financial activities (32,000), food services and drinking places (30,000), professional and technical services (23,000), health care (18,000), transportation and warehousing (15,000), professional and business (15,000), and financial activities (13,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, showed little change over the month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians (3.7%) increased in January. The jobless rates for adult men (4.4%), adult women (4.4%), teenagers (15.0%), whites (4.3%), blacks (7.7%) and Hispanics (5.9%) showed little or no change over the month.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in January and accounted for 24.4% of the unemployed.