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U.S. Adds More Than 400,000 New Jobs in January, Shattering Expectations

The number is more than three times what many economists were forecasting.

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Though the rise of Omicron posed yet another existential to industries and businesses, there seems to be good news amid the struggle. Friday's Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that the U.S. added 467,000 jobs in January 2022, a surprisingly high number given that many economists had originally predicted around 150,000 new jobs.

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Notably, 100,000 jobs were added in restaurants and bars last month, a major win for the service industry, which has been especially challenged since the onset of the pandemic.

Related: A Record 4.5 Million People Quit Their Jobs in November

The unemployment rate remained at 4%, but it should be noted that the number of Americans initially filing for unemployment dropped for the second week in a row, indicating a positive trend.

It's difficul to compare January's numbers with December's based on Omicron-related difficulties in the job market — those who take sick or quarantine leave and are unpaid during their time away are counted as unemployed for that span.

December 2021 showed an increase of 510,000 jobs, as revised this month, which puts it slightly higher than January, and it was reported that 8.8 million people were absent from work due to Covid from December 29-January 10.

Alas, the good news still spooked Wall Street, as the unexpected job additions stoked fears that inflation was imminent, leaving the Dow down 15.4 points (0.04%) at Friday's open.

The flat rate comes form countering a high spike from Amazon after the retail giant announced it would be raising prices on its beloved Prime subscriptions to offset higher costs brought about by the pandemic.

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