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U.S. Adds 200,000 Jobs; Wages Rise by Most Since Recession

U.S. hiring picked up in January and wages rose at the fastest annual pace since the recession ended, as the economy’s steady move toward full employment extended into 2018. Nonfarm payrolls rose 200,000 — compared with the median estimate of economists for a 180,000 increase — after an upwardly revised 160,000 advance, Labor Department figures showed Friday. The jobless rate held at 4.1 percent, matching the lowest since 2000, while average hourly earnings rose a more-than-expected 2.9 percent from a year earlier, the most since June 2009. Treasury yields and…

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Wal-Mart Raises Hourly Wage to $11 in Wake of Tax Overhaul

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is boosting its starting hourly wage to $11 and delivering bonuses to employees, capitalizing on the U.S. tax overhaul to stay competitive in a tightening labor market. The increase takes effect next month and will cost $300 million on top of annual wage hikes that were already planned, the world’s largest retailer said Thursday. The one-time bonus of up to $1,000 is based on seniority and will amount to an additional $400 million. The company is also expanding its maternity and parental leave policy and adding an…

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Goldman Sees Crypto, Credit Shadowing Robust 2018 U.S. Economy

Financial imbalances including those in credit markets and cryptocurrencies will shadow an otherwise robust 2018 U.S. economy, said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist Jan Hatzius. Hatzius has already made some predictions for the new year: four Federal Reserve quickening to an average of 2.6 percent, the jobless rate not inverting. In a new report, Hatzius reiterated his expectation for overall economic strength, while flagging some concerns. “Asset valuations in some areas — especially credit — have risen to high levels by historical standards,” Hatzius said in the “10 Questions for…

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