CUNA Senior Economist Dawit Kebede issued the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s January jobs report:
“The labor market posted strong job growth in January despite an expected, temporary setback due to surging Omicron cases. Job growth was also strong in COVID-sensitive industries such as leisure and hospitality.
“The average hourly wage continued to grow in January, registering a 5.7% increase over the past 12 months. This indicates that hiring demand remains high. The labor force participation rate was also adjusted upwards, signaling that more people are rejoining the labor market after having dropped out due to COVID-related reasons.
“The low unemployment rate and increased demand for hiring show a stronger labor market, a critical factor given the expected interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in March. It is indicative of strong consumer demand.”