Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy added a robust 227,000 jobs in January, surpassing economists' predictions, though there was virtually no growth in workers' wages, according to data from the Labor Department.
The unemployment rate edged up to 4.8 percent from 4.7 percent due largely to an increase in the number of Americans who are considered part of the labor force. Economists had predicted the economy would add about 175,000 jobs in January, NBC News reported.
Workers' wages rose just 0.1 percent, or about 3 cents on the dollar, a sharp decline from December, when jobs numbers came in under economists' predictions, but wages grew by 2.5 percent.
The retail and construction sectors posted the strongest job gains. Despite announcements by department store chains Sears and Macy's they would begin closing dozens of stores after a lackluster holiday season, the retail sector still added 46,000 jobs in January. And while much of the country remains in winter's deep freeze, the construction sector added 36,000 jobs in what is traditionally one of the slowest months of the year.
The monthly data is compiled by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.