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US job growth strong in January, Japan has US employment plan


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US job growth strong in January, Japan has US employment plan

Job growth in the United States surged more than expected in January. Employers added 227,000 workers.

But the unemployment rate rose from 4.7 percent to 4.8 percent of the workforce.

Wages increased only modestly, indicating there is not a shortage of available workers.

The final employment figures under Barack Obama give President Trump a head start as he seeks to make good on his pledges.

On January 11 he said: “We are going to create jobs. I said that I will be the greatest jobs producer, that God ever created.”

Trump has promised to deliver annual GDP growth of 4 percent, but with the US economy near full employment, some economists are sceptical that can be achieved.

Japan investment plan

Trump may get some help from the Japanese.

Government sources in Tokyo said they were working on a plan to create 700,000 jobs in the US.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – who is due to meet Trump in Washington on February 10 – said at the end of January: “I hope to explain that Japan’s auto industry alone employs over one million people there, if you include suppliers and other support jobs.”

Defending Japan’s carmakers is just part of Abe’s blueprint to fend off US criticism of Japanese trade policy.

That plan, which is due to be shown to Trump during next week’s Washington summit, reportedly includes Japanese investments for $450 billion in infrastructure projects such as high-speed trains.

The package also includes cooperation in global infrastructure investment, joint development of robots and artificial intelligence, and cooperation in cybersecurity and space exploration, among others.