January job surge confounds experts; another big week for tech layoffs

Job surge confounds recession predictions…

A surge in job creation in January is confounding those who believe the country is headed for recession. New data from the Labor Department reveals employers added more than half a million (517,000) jobs last month – much more than had been expected. In fact, the jobs spike now means unemployment is now at its lowest since the moon landing in 1969. According to the BBC, “analysts are struggling to figure out what is happening in the world’s largest economy, which is [also] being buffeted by a mix of higher borrowing costs and rising prices.” It reports Justin Wolfers, a professor at the University of Michigan, who said the gains are a “breathtaking number.” Others analysts however, caution against reading too much into one month’s figures, suggesting that America may already have fallen into recession. “The market is going to go through a rollercoaster ride as it tries to decide if this [the jobs growth] is good or bad news,” conceded Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management. According to Gary Cohn, the former director of the National Economic Council, the jobs rise can be attributed to people returning to the office, causing renewed demand for services like office cleaning; security; parking attendants etc.

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