The U.S. economy added more than 1 million net new jobs from November 2014 to January 30, 2015, and January job growth exceeded economists’ expectations. In addition, the unemployment rate had a slight increase to 5.7 percent, which may indicate that Americans who had taken themselves out of the job search pool have been inspired by recent strong hiring to begin looking for jobs again.  Combined, this information may be generating continued positive public perception around the U.S. economy.

Average hourly earnings also rose in January, bringing the average to $24.75 after a 12 cent increase. The 0.5% gain in January was the highest wage increase in six years. The minimum wage was also increased in about 20 states.

As the unemployment rate nears Jeff Stibel’s predicted 5 percent and employers are hiring more, the economy may be looking up for 2015.

Photo Credit: Chris Potter, Flickr