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News Release

Statement by U.S. Secretary of Labor Acosta on January Jobs Report

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta today issued the following statement regarding the January 2019 Employment Situation report:

"January's Job Report demonstrated the strength of the American economy, with 304,000 jobs added as private sector job creation continued to surge despite the partial government shutdown. Significant growth in the mining, construction, and transportation and warehousing sectors led the report.

"The unemployment rate ticked up 0.1 percentage point to 4.0%, largely as a result of the temporary lapse in federal government funding, yet this is the 11th consecutive month that the unemployment rate has been at or below 4.0%.

"Average hourly earnings rose by 3.2%, marking the sixth straight month in which year over year hourly earnings have been growing at or above 3%. Average weekly earnings rose at an even more robust 3.5%, year over year. 

"Another key indicator in the report pointed to the increase of the labor force participation rate to 63.2%, the highest rate since August 2013. 

"As the jobs and employment data normalizes over the coming months, we are confident the nation's economy will continue to build on the strength seen in 2018 and the first report of 2019."

For more information, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a breakdown of how government employees and contractors were affected by the lapse in appropriations, please click here

Office of the Secretary
February 1, 2019
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Media Contact: Megan Sweeney
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