More good economic news: Private employment up 234,000 in January, beating expectations. Wages up 2.6% in 2017.

The positive economic news continues. And while the data are all retrospective – how’d we do last month/year/quarter? – they augur well for the coming year.

First, the January employment numbers beat expectations, as CNBC reports.

The new year got off to a strong start for job creation, with businesses adding 234,000 in January, according to a report Wednesday from ADP and Moody’s Analytics.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had been looking for private payrolls to grow by 185,000.

Job creation was concentrated largely in service-related industries, which contributed 212,000 to the total. However, within that sector some of the better-paying industries showed solid gains: Trade, transportation and utilities led with 51,000, education and health services added 47,000 and professional and businesses services contributed 46,000. Leisure and hospitality services also grew by 46,000…

At the very least, the strong ADP January report “suggests that the weaker December reading on the official non-farm employment measure was not the start of any serious downturn in labor market conditions” Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said in a note.

Then there’s the wage report from the Associated Press.

U.S. workers’ wages and benefits grew 2.6 percent last year, the fastest 12-month pace since the spring of 2015.

The 12-month gain in wages and benefits came despite a slight slowdown at the end of last year with wages and benefits rising 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, a tiny dip from a 0.7 percent gain in the third quarter, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. Still, the 12-month gain was an improvement from a 2.2 percent gain for the 12 months ending in December 2016.

More and better-paying jobs. And, as AP notes, wage growth should continue to accelerate.

Most economists believe that wages should be increasing at a faster pace given the drop in the jobless rate to 4.1 percent. The last time unemployment was this low, in the late 1990s, average hourly pay, another measure of wages, was rising at a 4 percent pace. Hourly wages rose 2.5 percent in 2017, down from a 2016 gain of 2.9 percent, according to a separate Labor Department report.

These are national data. Washington typically outperforms the nation on both metrics. We expect the good news will be reflected and amplified in the February 15 revenue forecast.