Leisure and Hospitality Dominate Latest Job Growth Data

Job growth during the month of January bested expectations as nonfarm payrolls gained 304,000, according to the latest data from the Labor Department. Of that growth, the majority came from the leisure and hospitality as hiring in restaurants, bars and casino grew.

Leisure and hospitality accounted for 74,000 new jobs created with education and health services as well as construction rounding out the top three sectors.

“In January, employment grew in several industries, including leisure and hospitality, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing,” the Labor Department said in a release. “Within the [leisure and hospitality]industry, job gains occurred in food services and drinking places and in amusements, gambling, and recreation.”

Leisure and entertainment ETFs to consider in this space include the VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (NYSEArca: BJK) or the Invesco Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment ETF (NYSEArca: PEJ).

Unemployment Slightly Higher

Despite the positive gain in jobs, the unemployment rate did tick higher to  4 percent.

“The labor force was little changed but the drop in employment was enough to lift the participation rate by a tenth to a new cycle high,” said Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “But the increase in participation in recent months is not enough yet to call a meaningful shift from the flat trend of the past few years, and we still expect unemployment to fall over the course of this year.”