Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 200,000 in January.
Wage growth was also strong, the department said, with average hourly earnings rising 3 percent, the strongest increase since the Great Recession.
"There is no question that employers are now having to be more aggressive to compete for workers", says Peter Harrison, CEO of Snagajob, a jobs platform focused on hourly work. The average workweek fell to 34.3 hours, the shortest in four months, from 34.5 hours in December. But revisions to November and December subtracted a net 24,000 positions.
Job gains in January came across the board. Even better, worker pay also rose at the fastest yearly pace since 2009. Hospitals added 12,700 jobs last month, a drop from the 15,900 hospital jobs added in December. The January gain is the 88th consecutive month of job growth.
While these latest data readings will certainly make the headlines, it is important to note that overall wage growth remains moderate, and earnings adjusted for inflation are only growing about 0.8 percent y/y. The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons-that is, people who want to work full time but had their hours cut back, or could not find full-time work-is at 5 million.
The U.S. economy entered 2018 with healthy momentum after posting its best year of growth since 2014. "However, given our specialization in emerging cities our task has become very challenging with unemployment rates being so low and the increased retirements of the baby boomers".
Hourly wages continued to rise for the month as labour markets remained tight - with wages posting their largest 12 -month increase in more than nine years.
"The stock market going up and you seen productivity, but your not seeing that shared", Pocan said.
Despite briefly accelerating in 2015, wage growth has been tepid in recent years and 2017 was no different. More than 200 USA companies have offered bonuses, raised minimum wages or lifted contributions to employees' 401 (k) retirement accounts, citing the Republican-backed tax cuts.
Numerous economic data points that preceded the BLS report on Friday pointed to an economy that was near full employment.
Higher bond yields reflect investor expectations of more interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve and the anticipation of future inflation in the economy. Indeed, the Employment Cost Index (which accounts for compositional shifts in the labor force) grew 2.6 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, up from 2.5 percent y/y in the third quarter.
Fed officials Wednesday expressed optimism that inflation will rise toward its target this year.