Money & The EconomyUS News

January Jobs Report Smashes Expectations Despite Government Shutdown

The Department of Labor released the January jobs report showing 304,000 jobs were created in the month of January despite the partial government shut down the longest in American history.

The unemployment rate did increase slightly to 4% as more Americans began seeking work in the tight jobs market.

Economists expected only 179,000 jobs in the month of January beginning a year many economists have been predicting would see a slow down in economic growth.

“The Dow Jones gained 7.2% in the month of January after a very rough end to 2018. The S&P 500 finished 7% up in January. For both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 it has been the best January in 30 years. 

Wall Street stocks finished a banner month on a mostly positive note Thursday (Jan 31), with the Dow notching its best January in 30 years, reversing the bruising finale to 2018.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the month at 24,999.67, a 0.1 percent dip for the session, but up 7.2 percent for all of January.

The broad-based S&P 500 closed at 2,704.10, up 0.9 percent for the session and 7.9 percent for the month.

The highlights of the session included banner results from Facebook that lifted the social media giant 10.8 percent.

Stocks also picked up momentum late in the session when President Donald Trump hailed “tremendous” progress in US-China trade negotiations held over the last two days in Washington.

In a letter from Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Trump that was read out by the Chinese delegation, Xi said relations were at a “critical” stage and that he hoped “our two sides will continue to work with mutual respect.”

The economic performance is outperforming expectations and if the US and China can reach a deal then 2019 may become a year for growth far beyond the wildest dreams of the most optimistic economist.

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