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First Jobs Report of Trump Era Shows Solid Gains, Weaker Wages

by Lucy Bayly /
Employment seeking American University students line up waiting to talk to job recruiters during a career job fair at American University in Washington
Students line up waiting to talk to job recruiters during a career job fair. REUTERS/Jose Luis MaganaREUTERS

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In the first employment report of Donald Trump’s presidency, the economy gained 227,000 jobs during the month of January, surpassing economists’ predictions of 175,000.

However, the unemployment rate edged up from a steady 4.7 percent to 4.8 percent, and wages rose by just 0.1 percent ( three cents per hour) — a sharp difference from December’s solid 2.5 percent gain, according to Friday’s statistics from the Bureau of Labor.

The retail sector added the most positions — a total of 46,000 — with construction gaining 36,000 jobs and financial activities increasing by 32,000 jobs. Professional and technical services went up by 23,000; bars and restaurants added 30,000 jobs; and health care contributed 18,000.

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