US Job Growth Show Significant Rise with New 313000 Jobs in February

by Susie Olson March 11, 2018, 1:21
US Job Growth Show Significant Rise with New 313000 Jobs in February

Economists have warned that industries that use steel and aluminum - from auto companies to craft breweries - could face significant job losses as a result of the tariffs. The Arnold & Porter chairman said the move was not a layoff or a "prelude to a layoff".

On Twitter, an elated Trump wrote: "JOBS!" On one hand, now that most people who want a job have one, higher pay is the way most Americans would hope to see a reward from a hot economy. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 440 points to close at 25335. Last month, a jump in hourly pay from the same report had sparked a global selloff. The annual wage gain in January was revised down to 2.8% increase.

The US unemployment rate last month was 4.1 percent, the same as in January, with 313,000 jobs added - significantly more than the gain of about 200,000 that economists had anticipated, according to the Labor Department report released Friday.

But there was a downside in the jobs report that economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the conservative-leaning American Action Forum think tank, called its Achilles heel: Wage growth slowed in February.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising by 200,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate falling to 4.0 percent.

Signs of stronger wage growth have fueled inflation concerns on Wall Street amid speculation that the Fed may raise interest rates at least four times this year, rather than the three increases previously expected.

- A "Goldilocks" report for markets?

The U.S. economy added 239,000 jobs in January. All levels of government added 26,000 workers, also the best gain since July 2016.

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But, the Labor Department noted that gains in the clothing and general merchandise retail sectors, which added 33,000 new positions, suffered some distortion that made the gains appear stronger.

But Jed Kolko, chief economist with employment website Indeed.com, does a monthly calculation excluding weather-sensitive industries - construction, mining and leisure and hospitality - and said his figures show there was no impact last month.

The average work week was at 34.5 hours, an increase of 0.1 hours.

A growing supply of labor, in turn, helped keep the unemployment rate from falling further. Chris Low of FTN Financial said in a client note.

The other side of this debate might be called the "let it run" camp, who argue that a lot of good things might happen if the Fed and other policymakers move patiently and see whether some of the damage done by the 2008 recession might fix itself in a sufficiently hot economy. Still, dozens of companies have recently indicated on their earnings calls that they're under pressure to raise wages.

Fed officials meet later this month and are widely expected to lift the central bank's benchmark interest rate. Worker compensation also expanded, but not in a way that suggests problematic inflation.

Despite all this good progress, it's troubling to now see the White House embrace trade policies that could potentially stunt the growth we are currently enjoying.


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