It’s a new year, and the U.S. job market is off to an incredibly strong start. January 2023 saw a stunning 517,000 jobs added to nonfarm payrolls, far above the Dow Jones estimate of 187,000. This is the largest gain since July 2022, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest level since May 1969.

The impressive gains were seen across a variety of sectors, with leisure and hospitality leading the way with 128,000 jobs added. Professional and business services, government, and health care also saw significant gains, with 82,000, 74,000, and 58,000 jobs added respectively. Average hourly earnings also posted solid gains, increasing 0.3% and 4.4% from a year ago.

The Federal Reserve has taken steps to slow the economy and bring down inflation, raising its benchmark interest rate eight times since March 2022. In its latest assessment, the Fed noted that the labor market “remains extremely tight” and is still “out of balance.” Despite this, markets are betting the central bank will start cutting rates before the end of 2023.

It’s clear that the U.S. job market is off to a fantastic start this year, with incredible gains across a variety of sectors. Despite the Fed’s efforts to slow down the economy, it appears the job market is still in full force. It will be interesting to see how the job market fares in the coming months.