Although small, 0.1% to be exact, the unemployment rate in the U.S. rose in January from its previous 5.6% to 5.7%.
Still, a healthy 257,000 jobs were added in January. The good news is that this marks the longest stretch of job gains reaching over 200,000 per month since 1994. That’s better than economists expected.
The unemployment rate is still expected to decline again in the coming months as more of the unemployed find jobs. One indicator – the December jobs report was revised from its initial 252,000 jobs reported up to a net 329,000 jobs.
November’s job gains were also revised upward, to 423,000 from an initial 353,000 reported. Monthly job gains averaged 336,000 during the past three months.
Many Americans still won’t see the benefits though. Many part-time employees want to work full time. And almost two-thirds of work-available individuals have now dropped out of the labor force, the highest proportion opting out of work since the 1970s. The labor-force participation rate is currently at 62.9 percent.