The U.S. economy added 517,000 jobs in January, blowing past Wall Street estimates and defying forecasts that the labor market was beginning to slow.
The unemployment rate dropped to 3.4 percent from 3.5 percent, with leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care leading the gains.
Many economists were expecting job growth to continue slowing in the new year. Wall Street estimates put the number around 190,000, slightly down from the 223,000 added in December.
The January numbers also blew past the 2022 monthly average of 401,000.
The gains came despite layoffs in the tech sector and widespread economic uncertainty. Indeed, the report came out one day after a series of high-profile earnings reports showed that Big Tech firms such as Apple, Amazon and Google are struggling with a number of headwinds.
Here's a breakdown of the job gains by sector:
- Leisure and hospitality - 128,000 jobs
- Professional and business services - 82,000
- Employment in state government education - 35,000,
- Health care - 58,000
Futures dropped in pre-market trading following the release.