U.S. unemployment rate hits 4%, jobs numbers top White House expectations

Jobs numbers for the past two months were upwardly revised as well
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unemployment
Some U.S. companies are calling back workers as the coronavirus pandemic flattens
(OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

The Labor Department said Friday the U.S. employment rate in January was 4%, a slight increase from last month's 3.9% as the pandemic continues to impact the economy.  

Despite the slight percentage increase, the economy last month added 467,000 non-farm jobs, exceeding Wall Street expectation of about 177,000 at the most.

Some experts were bracing for the possibility that the report would show the economy had lost jobs last month – as COVID-19's highly contagious Omicron variant continued to surged across the country.

Just one week ago, the White House publicly braced for dismal jobs figures negatively impacted by the pandemic and the surging variant. Cases have, however, dipped dramatically in the last weeks since peaking in mid-January. 

The jobless rate for white workers was 3.4%, while for black workers it was 6.9%. The jobs numbers also saw significant revisions from the prior two months. The agency added more than 500,000 jobs to the December figure, and the November figure surged to 647,000. The revisions arrived as part of the bureau's annual adjustments.