US non-farm payroll: Bumper jobs growth smashes expectations

Jessica Morris
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The US economy is looking healthier than expected, with figures out this afternoon showing it added 257,000 jobs in January. That was 23,000 more than economists had forecast.

It was the 12th consecutive month that jobs gains came in above the 200,000 level, making it the longest running streak since 1997.

The US dollar surged against the euro jumping as high as $1.1352.

There were huge upward revisions to the jobs numbers for the previous two months - November was revised from 353,000 to 423,000, and December was revised from 252,000 to 329,000.

Average hourly wages rose more than expected jumping 12 cents to $24.75 January. This was a marked improvement on the previous month, when a 0.2 per cent decline or five-cent drop in hourly earnings riled markets.

The figures out from the Labour Department on Friday also showed the unemployment rate rose one percentage point to 5.7 per cent.

Last year the US economy had its best year of job growth since 1999 after December's jobs figure beat expectations.

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