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US: Lowest unemployment rate since 1969


Despite rising interest rates and a sluggish global economy, the US unemployment rate fell surprisingly at the beginning of the year – to just 3.4 percent. This is the lowest level in more than 50 years.

In the US, unemployment surprisingly fell further at the beginning of the year and has reached its lowest level in more than 50 years. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4 percent in January, the Washington Department of Labor said today. That’s the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.

At times, the Corona crisis led to a massive increase in unemployment, the rate rose to over 14 percent in 2020. In December, the unemployment rate was still 3.5 percent. Experts had expected an increase to 3.6 percent for January.

More than half a million digits

But the US economy has created many more jobs than expected. According to the Ministry of Labour, 517,000 jobs have been added outside of agriculture. Experts had expected an average of only 188,000 new jobs. The increase in employment in the two previous months was also revised upwards by a total of 71,000 jobs.

According to the information, average hourly wages increased by 0.3 percent month-on-month in January. Compared to the same month last year, hourly wages rose by 4.4 percent at the beginning of the year.

central bank under pressure

The central bank, the Federal Reserve, wants to curb inflation with higher interest rates and cool down the overheated labor market. In view of the falling inflation, however, the monetary watchdogs had recently shifted down another gear and only increased the key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point – to the new range of 4.50 to 4.75 percent.

After a series of relatively large interest rate hikes, some normality is returning to monetary policy. According to experts, the Fed could now be forced to tighten interest rates again.