Read the highlights of this week’s commentary from Helios:
The US added 517K new jobs in January, blowing past economist estimates of 188K. Despite headlines of layoffs at big companies, the rest of the labor market surged, remaining tight with unemployment dropping to 3.4%, the lowest in over 50 years. Payroll gains were widespread across the economy, even in construction while the housing market has had its struggles.
While the hot labor market is good for economic activity, and may push out some recessionary fears, it also makes the Fed’s job a bit trickier. The Fed slowed down rate increases with a 25 basis point increase in the policy rate at the start of the month while the labor market may not be cooling as much as the Fed had hoped.
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