According to the Department of Labor, the first monthly jobs report since Donald Trump took office shows that employers have stepped up hiring, adding 227,000 new jobs, and that hourly wages have increased slightly. January's job creation numbers are the highest since September, exceeding 2016's average monthly jobs gain of 187,000, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More Americans are looking for jobs

The Labor Department also reported that the unemployment rate inched upwards, from 4.7 percent in December to 4.8 percent in January. However, economists believe this is an encouraging sign: More unemployed Americans have kickstarted their search for work, though not all of them immediately landed jobs.

The new statistics show that the percentage of adults actively seeking employment is at 67.9 percent, its highest level since September. While January's figures reflect jobs that were added to the economy prior to Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, these jobs were added after the election, thus indicating a sense of optimism among employers.

Optimism among small business owners soars

Other non-government statistics appear to bear this out. For instance, the National Federation of Independent Business stated that, after the election, its measurement of small business optimism skyrocketed to its highest level since 2004. According to DailyMail, American factories in January expanded at the fastest pace in more than two years, spurring businesses to spend more on industrial machinery, computers, and other big-ticket items.

These purchasing decisions indicate that companies are anticipating growth under the Trump administration.

Perhaps the only disappointing thing about the new jobs report is that wages, while improving, have seen only a small improvement, with a 0.1 percent increase in hourly earnings. Nevertheless, economists are optimistic.

“The labor market started 2017 on the front foot,” said Carl R. Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trus, to the New York Times on Friday. “This is a good, good number.”

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