US economy added 517,000 new jobs in January, nearly three times number forecasted

The federal government reported Friday the U.S. economy in January added 517,000 non-farm jobs, nearly three times as many as economists had forecast.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported last month’s unemployment rate was 3.4%, essentially unchanged from the previous month’s rate of 3.5%.

The economy is December added 223,000 new non-farm jobs. 

According to Dow Jones, the consensus forecast was for 187,000 new non-farm jobs in January and for the jobless rate to have increased to 3.6 percent, as reported by CNBC.

The unemployment rate is expected to edge higher, to 3.6% from 3.5%. Average monthly wage growth is expected to have stayed at about 0.3% in January, while declining on an annual basis, to 4.3% from 4.6%.

The jobless rate is being closely watched amid high inflation, a slowdown in the U.S. economy’s technology sector and concerns about a recession.