U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in January

Wages were up 2.9% compared with a year earlier, the best pace since June 2009. CNNMoney's Alison Kosik reports.

Posted: Feb 3, 2018 6:28 PM
Updated: Feb 3, 2018 6:28 PM

Workers who make clothing did very well. So did bankers.

Miners and auto workers, not so much.

The Labor Department reported the biggest hourly pay increase in eight years in Friday's jobs report -- an average increase of 2.9% for private sector employees.

"The job market is very tight and getting tighter," said Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody's Analytics. "Businesses are struggling to hire or hang onto people so they have no choice but to raise wages"

Part of that boost came at the low end of the pay scale, since an estimated 4.5 million minimum wage workers in 18 states got raises when their states boosted the minimum wage on Jan. 1.

But with 125.5 million people working across the country, the raises for those 4.5 million minimum wage workers didn't move the needle very much.

Related: American gets a raise - Wage growth fastest since 2009

Data from the Labor Department showed some wide disparity in who got wage increases and who did not.

"The wage increases are not being broadly shared," said Heidi Shierholz, labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank.

The job classification with the biggest annual percentage increase was clothing manufacturing. Wages jumped 14% on average according to the labor department data. That's a very small sector with only 116,000 workers, most of whom make high end merchandise. That's because the overwhelming majority of clothing sold in U.S. is imported from low wage countries, leaving behind only high-end clothing manufacturing.

"These are people who are very skilled. And I'm sure it's very difficult to hold onto those workers," said Zandi. He added that the industry also has a high percentage of foreign born workers.

"I'm sure the crackdown on immigration is having an impact in that sector," he said, forcing manufacturers to pay their remaining workers even more. "This is only the beginning. It's going to get a lot worse."

The bankruptcy of American Apparel, which used to make more modestly-priced clothes at U.S. plants also help drive up the sector's wages. Clothing manufacturing lost about 15,000 jobs in the last 18 months, and eliminating more modestly-paying jobs has the effect of raising the average wage significantly.

The second biggest wage increase was the 4.6% boost that workers who refine petroleum and coal products -- another relatively small sector with 115,000 jobs.

The other group that got a significant wage hike were the 8.5 million people working in what the government classifies as "financial activities," such as banking, Wall Street and insurance. They averaged a 4.2% raise.

Related: Google to hire thousands in nine states

Wages for the 16 million people who work in the leisure and hospitality industry, rose 3.3% on average. Most of those workers -- about 11.9 million -- work in restaurants, including fast food, and bars.

"If you're going to see [the impact of higher minimum wages] anywhere, you'll see it with restaurant workers," said Zandi.

Mining and logging workers posted only a 0.3% increase, on average, despite all the attention that's been focused on mining jobs. Zandi said the rural mining communities are among the few places where there is not a shortage of workers putting upward pressure on wages.

"If there's any slack in the economy it's there," he said.

One sector where wages declined was auto plants and factories that make auto parts, where the average pay fell by 0.3%. Some of that could be do to an aging work force, since better-paid workers are retiring and being replaced by lower-paid new hires. Also helping to depress auto wages was series of layoffs at better paying unionized auto plants in Michigan and Ohio during the year, and growth at lower paying non-union auto plants in the South.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312521

Reported Deaths: 5498
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion42641849
Lake27152455
Allen18010298
Elkhart17177221
St. Joseph16799229
Hamilton13011167
Vanderburgh9751120
Tippecanoe858727
Porter827986
Johnson6389165
Hendricks6098157
Vigo608384
Monroe536750
Clark515077
Madison5060122
Delaware4905103
LaPorte465595
Kosciusko462339
Howard344277
Warrick325672
Bartholomew316863
Floyd316277
Wayne307770
Cass299931
Marshall299144
Grant272550
Noble255046
Hancock253852
Henry247537
Boone244554
Dubois237931
Dearborn219030
Jackson215534
Morgan210843
Knox187819
Gibson186925
Shelby182155
Clinton180321
DeKalb177831
Lawrence177648
Adams168222
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Fayette149234
Steuben147113
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Putnam124627
Randolph124519
Wells124429
White123222
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Posey122116
Jefferson118816
Scott109020
Greene102653
Jay99013
Sullivan96416
Starke92021
Jennings85314
Fulton84518
Spencer8378
Perry82521
Fountain7798
Washington7527
Franklin69927
Carroll68613
Orange67328
Vermillion6243
Owen6087
Tipton57627
Parke5706
Newton56312
Rush5438
Blackford53412
Pike50919
Pulaski39515
Martin3585
Brown3424
Benton3402
Crawford2941
Union2702
Switzerland2575
Warren2382
Ohio2317
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 382743

Reported Deaths: 6274
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin51161671
Cuyahoga37222743
Hamilton30493372
Montgomery20518236
Butler15199148
Lucas14566417
Summit13933327
Stark9193206
Warren841976
Mahoning7530300
Lake710067
Lorain6690106
Clermont593651
Delaware572537
Licking564577
Trumbull5584147
Fairfield554464
Greene538066
Clark5218101
Allen494989
Marion476759
Medina471657
Wood4598107
Miami437568
Pickaway404048
Portage358972
Columbiana357698
Tuscarawas342667
Richland328539
Wayne327394
Mercer296047
Muskingum252510
Hancock245940
Ross244559
Auglaize236435
Darke232560
Erie230268
Putnam229449
Ashtabula228354
Geauga211851
Scioto200616
Union19668
Shelby194017
Lawrence193039
Athens19134
Seneca182919
Belmont170229
Madison163119
Sandusky157729
Preble156521
Huron155519
Defiance144823
Holmes140439
Logan133517
Knox131718
Fulton128726
Jefferson128613
Crawford126817
Washington125227
Ottawa124530
Clinton109115
Williams10799
Ashland107825
Highland103718
Brown10135
Henry101323
Hardin99719
Champaign9825
Van Wert97318
Jackson96212
Fayette92717
Morrow9202
Guernsey89314
Coshocton85215
Perry82912
Adams80313
Pike7661
Gallia76513
Wyandot73217
Paulding66511
Hocking64516
Noble62224
Carroll48810
Meigs39612
Monroe32321
Morgan2685
Vinton2246
Harrison2193
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