US job growth up, jobless rate at 8.3%
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SNAP ANALYSIS-U.S. job creation accelerates broadly
U.S. job creation is accelerating throughout the economy, giving President Barack Obama's reelection bid a boost and increasing the chances the jobless rate could improve faster than the Federal Reserve expects.
U.S. nonfarm employers added 243,000 jobs to payrolls last month, the government said on Friday. That was well above expectations and the gains were distributed broadly across the economy, from manufacturing to retail and construction.
Also, the jobless rate posted a surprise fall to 8.3 percent, its lowest since February 2009.
Following are some key details from the report:
* Job creation is spreading more widely into different sectors of the economy. The diffusion index for private payrolls jumped to 64.1 in January from 62.4 in December. That's the highest reading since April 2011. A reading above 50 means more industries are increasing employment than decreasing employment.
* The improvement in the jobs market was evident in both the employer and household surveys. The jobless rate fell as the household survey showed employment surging by 631,000, even after taking into account yearly adjustments to population counts that are done every January. That far outweighed the loss of 75,000 people from the workforce, which included people retiring as well as discouraged workers giving up on the job hunt. The household survey tends to be more volatile than the payroll survey, which is more closely watched by economists.
* Still, the drop in the jobless rate to 8.3 percent leaves unemployment closer to the bottom end of the central forecast range made by Fed policymakers for this year. That could strengthen the argument of inflation-fearing hawks within the Fed that the central bank should not embrace new measures to boost the economy too quickly. The Fed said last week the unemployment rate would end this year between 8.2 percent and 8.5 percent. However, the rate remains well above policymakers' views for full employment.
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