US unemployment rate rises to 4% in January

The US unemployment rate increased slightly in January 2022 compared to the previous month, data from the country’s Department of Labor showed. In January, this figure rose to 4% against 3.9% in December.

The number of people employed in non-farm sectors of the economy increased by 467,000, well above forecasts (analysts polled by the Wall Street Journal had expected an increase of 150,000). In December, the increase was 510,000, according to a revised estimate, and not 199,000, as previously reported. Employment continued to grow in hospitality, professional and business services, retail, transportation and warehousing, the agency said.

The average hourly wage over the past month increased by 0.7% compared to December and by 5.7% in annual terms, reaching $31.63. In December, this figure was $31.4 (+5% yoy). The share of participation of the population in employment in January amounted to 62.2%. This is more than in December (61.9%), but still less than in pre-pandemic February 2020 (63.4%). The average working week decreased by 0.2 hours to 34.5 hours.

Last week, the US Federal Reserve signaled an increase in the base rate against the backdrop of a “strong” labor market and high inflation. The regulator will continue to reduce the purchase of bonds from the market and curtail the program in early March. In February 2022, the Fed will halve its asset buybacks to $30 billion from $60 billion in January. Until November 2021, the Fed was buying $120 billion worth of bonds from the market every month to inject liquidity.

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