US economy defies omicron and adds 467,000 jobs in January

 In a surprising burst of hiring, America’s employers added 467,000 jobs in January in a sign of the economy’s resilience even in the face of a wave of omicron infections last month.

The government’s report Friday also drastically revised up its estimate of job gains for November and December by a combined 709,000. It also said the unemployment rate ticked up from 3.9% to a still-low 4%, mainly because more people began looking for work and not all of them found jobs right away.

The strong hiring growth for January, which defied expectations for only a slight gain, demonstrates the eagerness of many employers to hire even as the pandemic raged. Businesses appear to have seen the omicron wave as having, at most, a temporary impact on the economy and remain confident about longer-term growth.

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