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January job growth numbers indicate U.S. labor market will fuel economic growth in 2020

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By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square

Nonfarm employers added 225,000 jobs in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday, exceeding economists’ predictions.

January’s jobs report showed stronger signs than the average monthly gain of 175,000 jobs in 2019.

Notable job gains occurred in construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing industries BLS said.

Combined with unemployment hovering at 3.6 percent, a strong jobs report began the decade with a stronger-than-expected forecast, marking the 112th month of straight gains.

After accounting for the annual adjustments to population data, the civilian labor force rose by 574,000 in January, and the labor force participation rate increased slightly to 63.4 percent, the BLS reports.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Fox News Friday that, “Millions of people have come into the job market. Those discouraged workers that were on the couch during the ‘Obiden’ years – they’re coming back and the labor force participation rate has bumped up."

"It’s shipyards in [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], Marinette, Wisconsin, [Panama City, Florida]; it’s combat vehicle plants in places like Lima, Ohio, York, Pennsylvania, it’s an F-16 production line in Greenville, South Carolina – these are things that all happened because President Donald J. Trump focuses on job creation every day," Navarro added.

In January, construction accounted for 44,000 new jobs compared to the average of 12,000 construction jobs added per month in 2019.

Health care added 36,000 jobs in January, with gains in ambulatory health care services and hospitals adding 23,000 and 10,000 respectively. Health care has added 361,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 28,000 in January.

Leisure and hospitality added 36,000 jobs. In the last six months alone the industry has added 288,000 new jobs.

Professional and business services increased by 21,000; over the last year the industry added 390,000 new jobs.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 7 cents to $28.44 in January. Over the last year, the average hourly earnings have also increased by 3.1 percent.