U.S. Economy Adds 257,000 Jobs In January, Continues Best Job Growth Streak In 17 Years

| by Edward Arnold

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly report on the state of the economy on Friday, and it showed more good results for the month of January.

The U.S. economy added 257,000 new jobs in January, marking 59 straight months of job growth. Even more significant is the fact that wages rose 0.5 percent in January, more than any other month in the last six years. Wages rose only 2.2 percent in all of 2014. Typically, wages increase 3.5 percent annually in a healthy economy.

Job creation numbers for last November were edited, revising the total number of new jobs to 423,000. December was also revised to 329,000, up from 252,000. The last three months have seen the most job growth in 17 years.

The unemployment rate rose from 5.6 percent to 5.7 percent. At first glance, a rising unemployment rate isn't appealing. But according to the Huffington Post, more Americans are looking for jobs but haven't been hired yet, which contributes to the rate. In other words, it's a good sign that people are actively looking for jobs again. 

An additional 3.2 million Americans are earning paychecks now compared to 12 months ago, which allows for more consumer spending, generating more economic growth. 

The Federal Reserve will wait until June to determine if it will raise interest rates. With the growth the economy is producing, the Federal Reserve would typically raise rates, but with inflation stagnated, rising just 0.7 percent for 2014, they have been inclined to wait.

Until then, businesses will continue to hire at a steady pace. As the Washington Post writes, it is the best the economy has been in 15 years. 

Sources: Huffington PostWashington Post / Photo Credit: New York Habitat