Businesses in the U.S added 257,000 jobs in January, slipping slightly off the pace set at the end of 2014. The total beats estimates showing continued strong and sustained growth.
Additionally, December’s number was adjusted up to 423,000 from 353,000.
Despite the gains, the Department of Labor put the unemployment rate at 5.7%, up from 5.6% in December.
Manufacturers added 22,000 jobs and construction companies increased payroll by 39,000.
The positive labor news overshadows several signs of a cooling economy recently released. New reports show both the manufacturing and service markets were slowing down. And the trade deficit is at its highest point in more than two years.
A strong dollar has led to a slowdown of exports, and low oil prices have led to a cutback in production and layoffs at energy companies. The energy industry lost 1,900 jobs according to the new report.
Americans are spending. Consumer confidence is at its highest level since August of 2007 helped by low fuel prices and a strong jobs market.