The January jobs report is released on Friday morning by the Labor Department. The U.S. economy reported a decline of 151,000 added jobs in January compared with December 2015, indicating a slow down in hiring. The number of jobs gained also missed the expectations from economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal at 185,000 and the CNNMoney at 197,000. In fact, the number of jobs added by the U.S. economy in the last 12 months is 2.67 million, the lowest level of annual job growth since June 2014. However, the unemployment rate has decreased to 4.9%, dipping below the 5% for the first time since February 2008. The average hourly wages also rose by 0.5%.
Most of the economists are optimistic about the U.S. economy after the announcement of the latest jobs report. Beth Ann Bovino, U.S. chief economist at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, said that “Today’s numbers are about momentum, so while 151,000 new jobs in January is below expectations and off pace from prior months, the data shows America’s recovery is continuing. Amid all the global economic turmoil and domestic market gyrations, positive job growth, the drop in the unemployment rate to 4.9%, and the uptick in wages show the U.S. is heading in the right direction.”
However, stock markets plummeted this morning after the release of jobs report. The Dow Jones industrial average fell almost 200 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell near 30 points, and the Nasdaq composite fell around 120 points in today`s morning trading. Some stock strategy analysts attributed the downshift to the weak jobs report, as well as the on-going global crisis in other countries.