Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

United States adds 313000 Jobs in February

United States adds 313000 Jobs in February

"Having said that, if we see the February payrolls number sustained, which seems unlikely, that keeps the inflation question very much in play".

The Labor Department on Friday reported the USA economy created 313,000 jobs last month, far exceeding Wall Street expectations for 200,000 new jobs.

The jobs report shows healthy economic conditions at the start of the year, as reflected in both the magnitude of gains as well as the healthy dispersion of job creation. The manufacturing sector also added 31,000 jobs, while retail employment rebounded from declines a year ago. Economists surveyed by Reuters had projected that the economy to add 200,000 jobs.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) stayed at 1.4 million in February and accounted for 20.7 percent of the unemployed. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent for the fifth straight month, continuing to be its lowest level since December 2000.

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The commonwealth's rate remained above that of the United States, which also remained unchanged in January at 4.1 percent.

If firms convert part-time workers to full-time workers or draw in more discouraged people not now looking for work, that broad measure of labor slack might fall further without pushing down conventional measures of unemployment.

Meanwhile, in the Stockton-Lodi market the unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in January, up from a revised 6.4 percent in December of 2016. But the still slow growth in wages implies that while people who were on the margins are returning to work, the jobs being created are still lower wage.

The areas where jobs increased included construction, retail, manufacturing, and health care.

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And so while wages were a disappointment, a bright spot in this report was the labor force participation rate, which climbed to 63% from 62.7%, the largest increase in this figure in years.

The unemployment rate for February was 4.1 percent, an 18-year low. Average hourly earnings increased 2.6 percent from a year earlier following a downwardly revised 2.8 percent gain. But with the inflation rate lagging its target 2% rate, it has been waiting for signs - like strong wage growth - of pricing pressure.

The average hourly wage grew by 0.1 percent.

Construction trades added 61,000 jobs, retail added 50,000, manufacturing added 31,000, finance added 28,000 and mining added another 9,000 positions continuing the reversal of jobs in the sector under Obama-era policies.

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The US job growth on Friday was expected to have risen at a fast pace in February, lowering unemployment rate to a more than 17-year low, but wage increases likely slowed down after three consecutive months of gains. The sector is being supported by strong domestic and worldwide demand as well as a weaker dollar. Government employment was up by 26,000. Mr Powell said during his congressional testimony last month that his "personal outlook for the economy has strengthened".

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