WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. job market continued solid growth in January, as jobless rate remained at 17-year low and wage grew at faster pace.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 200,000 in January, said the Labor Department on Friday.
The agency revised down the job gains in November last year to 216,000 while revised up the gains in December to 160,000. With these revisions, job gains in November and December combined were 24,000 less than reported.
Over the past three months, job gains averaged 192,000, a pace regarded as healthy, as the job market is approaching full employment.
Unemployment rate maintained at 17-year low of 4.1 percent in January, and it has kept at this level for fourth consecutive month.
The labor force participation rate, which shows the share of working-age people in the labor force, was 62.7 percent for the fourth consecutive month.
With the solid job growth, wage finally registered faster growth in January. On a year-on-year basis, average hourly earnings rose 2.9 percent, the fastest pace since June 2009.
Friday's report might reinforce market expectation that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rate in its March meeting.
After concluding its January meeting this week, Fed left the interest rates unchanged, while indicated that the central bank would continue gradual rate hikes on the expectation that inflation would go up this year.