Jobs report says U.S. added 353,000 jobs in January, better than expected

Jobs report says U.S. added 353,000 jobs in January, better than expected

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The first jobs report of 2024 is in, and economists say the numbers show the economy is booming and could foreshadow good news for interest rates.

New data shows the U.S. added another 353,000 jobs to the economy last month.

White House economist Heather Boushey says the report shows investments from the Biden administration are working.

“This is really the type of report that says there’s economic opportunity out there,” she said.

In January unemployment held at 3.7% and average hourly wages continued to rise.

“We’ve seen consumer spending up so all of this points to a strong foundation,” said Boushey.

The White House is not anticipating a looming recession and after months of sounding the alarm neither are the bulk of outside economists.

Mark Hamrick is a senior economic analyst with Bankrate.  He says the bigger question is how a booming economy will impact the Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep lowering inflation.

“I don’t know if the Federal Reserve necessarily looks at this report as a bad thing,” Hamrick said.

Hamrick predicts the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates the same next month and could even start cutting rates in the spring.

“It’s highly likely we have rate cuts this year, it’s just the timeline is being pushed out further,” he added.

After holding rates steady since July, this week Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hinted lower interest rates could come this year.

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