December 13, 2017
Friday, February 1, 2013

US jobs data point to steady economic growth

US Employment grew modestly in January and factory activity touched a nine-month high, supporting views the economy's mild recovery remained on track.

Other data today also suggested that the surprise contraction in economic activity in the last three months of 2012 was largely a fluke, not a trend. Two of the nation's big automakers reported better-than-expected sales last month.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 157,000 last month and revisions showed 127,000 more jobs created in November and December than previously reported, the Labor Department said.

Annual revisions also show the labour market in 2012 was a bit more healthy than initially thought.

"It is clear that the economy has a forward momentum. Most pistons in the economic engine are firing, pointing to sustained economic growth," said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University Channel Islands.

The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 7.9 percent.

The closely watched report showed an increase in hourly earnings and solid gains in construction and retail employment.

Separately, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 53.1 last month, the highest level since April, from 50.2 in December. A reading over 50 suggests expansion in the manufacturing sector.

Activity was boosted by a rebound in orders and inventories, as well as gains in employment. That offered hope manufacturing will continue to support the economy.

Investors cheered the fairly upbeat reports and bought US stocks, lifting them to a five-year high. The dollar rallied against the Japanese yen, while US Treasury debt prices seesawed.




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Tags:  us  jobs  unemployment  data  economy  

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