Blockbuster: February Jobs Report 'Crushes' Expectations, GOP Policies Boosting Economy

Jon Howard
March 10, 2018

Employers added 313,000 net new non-farm jobs last month, the biggest monthly increase since July 2016, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent for the fifth month in a row, according to the Labor Department's highly anticipated monthly report. USA employers added 313,000 jobs in February, far surpassing expectations for an increase of 200,000 jobs after January's better-than-expected reading.

United States job growth surged in February, recording its biggest increase in more than 1.5 years, but a slowdown in wage gains pointed to only a gradual increase in inflation this year.

February's gains included an increase of 61,000 construction jobs - the biggest rise since 2007.

After an increase of seven cents per hour in January, the Department of Labor reported that average hourly earnings in February rose by four cents to $26.75.

Wage growth is watched closely by the Fed as evidence of the labour market's strength, and at 2.6 percent year over year remains "disappointing..." There were 1.4 million such individuals in February, accounting for 20.7 percent of the unemployed.

The unemployment rate for those who have served in the armed forces anytime since September 2001 dropped to 3.3 percent, matching a record low from December.

While some companies have prominently announced worker bonuses this year after the signing of the tax bill, those kinds of rewards - as opposed to pay raises - are not counted in the average hourly wage calculations by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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The overall jobless rate was unchanged from December and MA remained more than a half percentage point below the USA unemployment rate.

Most of the job gains last month were in the construction and retail sectors. Many more people are working, including people who hadn't even been in the labor force. "We were able to create enough jobs to accommodate new seekers and keep the unemployment rate steady".

Younger Americans in their early 20s also enjoyed a good month in the job market. More than eight of 10 leading economists (84%) polled by Bankrate expect "further acceleration" in wage growth this year.

Similarly, retail trade and professional and business services have added 50,000 jobs each while manufacturing could add 31,000 employment in February. Th is contributed to a 0.3% increase in the labor force participation rate to 63%.

Jobs grew 175,000 in December, 239,000 in January and 313,000 in February demonstrating a healthy and growing economy.

Yes, it would be nice to see paychecks rise faster, but the saving grace of the fact that they aren't is that it allows the Fed a little more room for patience, strengthening the arguments of the "let it run" faction inside the central bank.

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