U.S. nonfarm payroll growth blows past forecasts in January, up 517k

February 3, 2023 8:41 AM EST

By Geoffrey Smith -- Job growth in the U.S. blew past expectations in January, the latest in a series of bewilderingly strong data from the labor market.

The Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls grew by 517,000 through the middle of the month, abruptly snapping a four-month trend of slowing job gains. Analysts had expected a further slowdown to 185,000, which would have been the slowest job growth in nearly two years.

December's data were also revised up to show a gain of 260,000 jobs, rather than the 223,000 originally reported.

The dollar gained over 0.5% in response, while stock futures fell as traders were forced to re-evaluate bets that an economic slowdown will force the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates later this year.

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