For the second straight month, U.S. job growth was more sluggish than expected with employers adding just 113,000 jobs. Economic analysts had initially predicted January job growth would reflect 180,000 new jobs.
Despite the poor job growth experienced in January though, the nation’s unemployment rate showed improved as it edged down to just 6.6%. This is the lowest unemployment rate since October 2008, and a sharp decrease from the October 2013 unemployment rate of 7.2%.
The mixed bag of unemployment data may also have further reaching effects in forcing the Fed to reconsider recent decisions surrounding the federal stimulus policy. Over the past several months increased job growth and the steadily decreasing unemployment rate have allowed the Fed to begin withdrawing its bond-buying stimulus because it appeared that the economy had finally reached a sustained-level of economic growth. Data from January, and Decembers revised job growth announcement have been weaker than expected and shaken much of that confidence.
Read more about the January jobs report here.