(Washington Examiner) U.S. payrolls added 304,000 workers in January, shrugging off the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
The increase reported by the U.S. Labor Department on Friday was nearly double the average estimate of 165,000 from economists surveyed by FactSet and remained well above the level needed to keep up with inflation. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4 percent from 3.9 percent in December and compares with a nearly 50-year low of 3.7 percent in November.
January hiring nearly matched that of the previous month, when employers added a jaw-dropping 312,000 workers, and reflects the impact of a partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22 after Trump refused to sign any government-funding bill that didn't include $5.7 billion for a wall along the southern U.S. border that he promised to build during his 2016 campaign.
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