The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose over 150 points on Friday as nonfarm payrolls were higher despite the 35-day government shutdown.
Job growth during the month of January bested expectations as nonfarm payrolls gained 304,000, according to the latest data from the Labor Department. However, 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.”
Government officials noted that during the shutdown, federal workers were included as employed during the period because they received pay during the survey week of Jan. 12. In actuality, federal government employment rose by 1,000.
Economists who were surveyed by Dow Jones were expecting payrolls to rise by 170,000 while the unemployment rate would remain static at 3.9 percent.