On Friday, the government announced that employers added 113,000 jobs for the month of January. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent in January, which is the lowest level since October of 2008.
Outside of the jobs report, numbers were also released showing that wages are stuck in holding pattern right now as well, according to The New York Times. In 2013, wages rose by 1.9 percent. After inflation was accounted for, they rose by just 0.4 percent.
“People are running in place in terms of their living standards,” said Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “There’s almost no growth in spending power.”
“We won’t see stronger wage growth until unemployment gets below 6 percent and we begin adding 200,000 jobs a month,” Harris said.
The chief United States economist at Barclays, Dean Maki, said that the reliable three-month job creation rate stood at 154,000. This number is 75,000 less than what employers added in the three-month period of September, October and November.
“I don’t think we can say weather affected January payrolls,” Maki said. “This will get the Fed’s attention, but it won’t affect their trajectory.”
The retail sector dropped 13,000 jobs in the month of January and Harris said that this could be due to excess hiring in the month of December because of the holiday rush. Harris also said the drop in numbers could be due to the job cuts announced by J.C. Penney and because Loehmann’s is in liquidation.January Jobs Report Released by Andrew Ostler