The numbers show the private sector was unphased by the shutdown. Aside from the 380,000 furloughed federal workers and 420,000 individuals forced to work without pay, January’s gain beats December’s monthly average of 233,000.
People working part-time due to economic reasons, otherwise called “involuntary part-time workers”, jumped to 5.1 million in January. Unemployment rose to 4% from 3.9% in December. The increase was impacted by furloughed workers forced to sit at home and government contractors not working during the shutdown.
A senior economic analyst at Bankrate, Mark Hamrick, stated, “The respectable employment data provides something of a relief, for now at least, for members of the Federal Reserve who have been bracing for the possibility of a more serious slowdown in the U.S. economy.”
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