Bitcoin Falls After 517,000 Jobs Added in January, Beating Expectations

The U.S. government also reported the unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, below the forecast of 3.6%.

AccessTimeIconFeb 3, 2023 at 1:37 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:07 a.m. UTC

The U.S. added 517,000 jobs in January, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a huge jump from the revised 260,000 in December and massively beating economist forecasts for 185,000.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.4% versus 3.5% in December and against forecasts for 3.6%.

Average hourly earnings stayed the same in January at 0.3% versus December, with expectations of 0.3%. On a year-over-year basis, average hourly earnings fell 4.4% versus 4.6% in December and expectations for 4.3%.

Bitcoin (BTC) fell to $23,379 in the minutes after the news.

"This will give the [Federal Reserve] absolutely no reassurance that labor market imbalances – which have been adding to wage pressures - are easing," Brian Coulton, chief economist at Fitch Ratings, said. "It will reinforce the message that the Fed still has quite a lot of work to do to tame core inflation."

Both traditional and crypto markets earlier this week rallied after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the "disinflationary process has started" during his post-press conference following the rate announcement.

Friday's strong payrolls report once again may dash the expectations of traders hoping that a significant deterioration in the strong employment picture might have the Fed put rate hikes on hold, and even get the central bank to think about rate cuts later in 2023.

UPDATE (Feb. 9 14:12 UTC) – Adds comment from Brian Coulton, chief economist at Fitch Ratings.


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Stephen  Alpher

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's managing editor for Markets. He holds BTC above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.