Daily Bread for 2.2.24: National Labor Market Soars, Again

 Good morning.

Groundhog Day in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 41. Sunrise is 7:07 and sunset 5:09 for 10h 01m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 53.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1913, Grand Central Terminal opens in New York City.

By Detroit Publishing Co. – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID det.4a24546. Commons: Licensing., Public Domain,

First Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early Spring, and then the federal government reports notably strong national employment gains for January 2024 — much as I love winter, conditions are looking up. Lydia DePillis reports U.S. employers added 353,000 jobs in January

The United States delivered a much bigger-than-expected batch of jobs last month, adding further evidence that the economy still has plenty of steam.

Employers added 353,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department reported on Friday, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent.

After the loss of 14 percent of the nation’s jobs early in the Covid-19 pandemic, the labor market’s endurance for more than three years has surprised economists, who expected factors including the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases to slow hiring more sharply. The strong data on Friday is likely to reinforce the Fed’s patience in beginning to cut rates.

“There’s layoffs happening, but workers are able to find new positions,” said Sara Rutledge, an independent economics consultant. “It’s almost like a ‘pinch me’ scenario.”

Ms. Rutledge helped tabulate the National Association for Business Economics’ latest member survey, which found increasing optimism that the country would avoid a recession — matching a turnaround in measures of consumer confidence as inflation has eased.

The growth in January was all the more impressive on top of upward revisions to the prior two months, which brought the monthly average job gain in 2023 to 255,000. Professional and business services accelerated to pile on 74,000 jobs, while health care added 70,000. The only major sector to lose jobs was mining and logging.

The bumper crop of added jobs, nearly twice what forecasters had expected, mirrors the similarly surprising strength in gross domestic product measurements for the fourth quarter of 2023.

Now’s the time for communities across America to take advantage of this favorable environment. Now’s the time for Whitewater. 

Wildlife photographer Varun Aditya records a pride of lions: 

Post by @f7oz
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