Only 111,000 new jobs were created in January, missing analysts’ forecasts by a whopping 39,000 jobs.
The nation’s unemployment rate climbed to a four-month high of 4.6 percent as somewhat cautious employers added fewer new jobs to their payrolls in January. Wage gains were even more modest.
The newest report on the economy, released Friday by the Labor Department, suggested that the jobs market got off to a slower start in 2007 yet still remains in decent shape. The more subdued job growth — 111,000 positions — is consistent with the expectation that growth in the economy as a whole will moderate this year.
The tally of new jobs added last month fell short of economists expectations for a gain of around 150,000 positions. Analysts also had said they anticipated that the overall unemployment rate would have held steady at 4.5 percent, the rate that was registered in December