US adds 517,000 jobs in January

America’s employers added 517,000 jobs in January, a surprisingly strong gain in the face of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive drive to slow growth and tame inflation with higher interest rates, according to a news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate dipped only slightly to 3.4%, which is still a half-century low.

January’s job growth, well ahead of December’s 269,000 gain, raises some doubts about whether inflation pressures will ease further in the months ahead. The Fed has raised its key rate eight times since March to try to contain inflation, which hit a four-decade high last year but has slowed since then.

For all of 2022, the economy added an average of 375,000 jobs a month.