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Aruba, February 2, 2018 - The US labour market barrelled forward in January, as employers added more jobs than expected and wage growth was its strongest in more than eight years.

American payrolls expanded by 200,000 last month, driven by hiring in construction, food services and health care.
The average hourly wage for private sector workers crept up 2.9% compared to January 2017.
The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%.
Economists have been forecasting faster wage growth for months, expecting employers to boost pay as low unemployment made it harder to find workers.
The uptick in wages in January coincided with mandatory minimum pay increases in several states, as well as announcements by major employers such as Walmart that they would boost earnings.
Average hourly earnings for private sector workers rose 9 cents over the month, to $26.74. For the year, they increased by 75 cents.
Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for, said he wants to see if the increases will continue.
"We'll have to see this sustained as we remember that this has been a long time in coming," he said. 
The report contained reminders that gains can be fleeting, as data changes month to month.
For example, the unemployment rate among black workers jumped in January to 7.7%, rising after falling to a record low of 6.8% in December.
President Donald Trump had trumpeted that decline as evidence of economic improvement.