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Contrary to expectations – the strongest data on the US labor market

We received official data on the state of the US labor market in the first month of 2019. First, January was a record month for job growth: last month, United States added a magnificent 304,000 job positions, almost double the expected value of 165,000, although, apparently, most of this was due to a revised December number.

The change in total non-farm employment in November was revised from +176,000 to +196,000, and, the change in December numbers from +312,000 to + 222,000. With these changes in mind, November and December gain was 70,000 less than previously reported.

It is curious that, according to the report, “there was no noticeable effect of the partial closure of the federal government ... on the state of the labor market, working hours and company incomes”.

More importantly, the average hourly earnings rose by 3.2% for the second month in a row, and the December figure fell slightly from 3.3% to 3.2%. However, on a monthly basis, profits grew by only 0.1%, which is the lowest figure since October 2017.

In January, the average hourly wage of all non-agricultural private sector rose by 3 cents to $ 27.56, after rising 10 cents in December. For the year, the average hourly wage increased by 85 cents, or 3.2 percent.

The average workweek in the United States for all employees has not changed and amounted to 34.5 hours in January.

And finally, the unemployment rate rose again, gaining 4.0%, compared with 3.9% last month and exceeded the expected 3.9%

The markets met the numbers in calm reaction being somewhat frustrated with such unexpectedly possitive data, as USD dollar displayed some gently attempt for growth. Technical levels and oversold conditions create ways for slight USD rebound later on the current session. However, no clear signs so far detected that traders are rushing to use strong non-farm data to recover USD dollar to higher levels.

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