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U.S. economy races ahead despite Omicron impact

© Dimitry Anikin

WASHINGTON (WNI) — Employers in the U.S. added a total of 467,000 jobs in January according to the latest statistics from the Labor Department. The figure was substantially higher than predicted, with some analysts forecasting it wouldn’t pass the 200,000 figure.

The latest jobless data however showed that unemployment rose slightly to 4% in January vs 3.9% in December. This was due to the fact that more people were now looking for work than before.

The strong jobs growth figure puts emphasis on a potentially rosier U.S. economic rebound which could lead to adjustments in forecasts for GDP expansion later this year.

With an improved outlook on job creation, inflationary pressures could remain as a tightening labour market and ongoing shortages in a variety of industries create cost pressures. The U.S. is seeking to address the microchip shortage which has affected car production and other sectors globally.

The Labor Department also revealed that it had greatly underestimated job growth in November and December. It added that more than 709,000 jobs had been created than previously expected at the end of 2021, an impressive metric.

While the optimistic data was good news for the U.S. as a whole, President Biden cautiously welcomed the improving picture but said “We still have a lot of work to do”.

Among the industries seeing strong growth in jobs was leisure and hospitality. As Omicron fades, there is likely to be more investment in a number of sectors including aerospace and tourism as travellers head to U.S. shores later this year.

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