Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy added more than 200,000 jobs in January -- making a strong start to the year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.
According to the January jobs report, employment continued to trend up in the construction, food services and drinking places, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.
In December, the U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs -- fewer than what was expected.
The unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent for the fourth consecutive month, the Labor Department said, with the number of unemployed persons at 6.7 million.
The department said African-American unemployment, however, increased to 7.7 percent -- from 6.8 percent in December -- while unemployment among Caucasians dropped to 3.5 percent.
Wage growth was also strong, the department said, with average hourly earnings rising 3 percent, the strongest increase since the Great Recession.
Many analysts expect the U.S. economy to continue growing, with help from the $1.5 trillion Republican tax reform package signed by President Donald Trump in December. Industries like manufacturing and mining, both of which Trump promised to revitalize, hired more workers in January.