Last week’s employment report showed surprisingly strong numbers for nonfarm payrolls, with the US economy creating 517,000 jobs in January. The consensus had expected a number closer to 200,000. The report also showed that wage inflation declined across sectors and income distribution and that the unemployment rate declined from 3.5% to 3.4%. It was also notable that the labor participation rate ticked higher in the last month after plummeting during the pandemic and moving sideways for much of 2022. Rising labor participation can help further dampen wage inflation, which is welcome news for the Federal Reserve.
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