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Unemployment at lowest level in 54 years, economy smashes expectations

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Unemployment at lowest level since 1969 as economy smashes expectations
by Zachary Halaschak, Economics Reporter |
February 03, 2023 08:32 AM

The economy gained 517,000 jobs in December, smashing expectations, in another sign that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes have yet to harm the labor market substantially.

The figures reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday morning provide reassurance about the strength of the economy. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest rate since 1969.

The results of the employment report come as a big surprise for economists. The consensus estimate was that the economy would add just 185,000 jobs and unemployment would actually rise by a tenth of a percentage point rather than falling to 3.4%.

“A fundamental surprise,” Brian Marks, executive director of the University of New Haven’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, told the Washington Examiner after the report was released. “Going forward, this sort of signals to the Fed to continue down its path of increasing rates.”

Friday’s report is being closely scrutinized as it comes just days after the Federal Reserve voted to raise interest rates once again, albeit by a smaller amount. A stronger jobs report shows that rate hikes aren’t yet having the punch officials hoped and could cause the Fed to lean toward a more aggressive monetary stance in the new year.




December is almost exclusively transitory, seasonal work.

Figures lie and liars figure...



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