US Job Growth Beats Expectations in February

US job


WASHINGTON:Despite wage inflation showing signs of cooling, the U.S. economy added jobs at a solid rate in February, ensuring that the Federal Reserve will likely continue to raise interest rates.

Friday’s closely watched employment report from the Labor Department revealed a 311,000-job increase in nonfarm payrolls. The previously reported 517,000 new jobs in January have been revised down to 504,000.

According to Reuters’ poll of economists, job growth would be 205,000. To keep up with the rise in the number of people who are working-age, according to them, the economy needs to create 100,000 jobs per month.

There were estimates for payrolls in February that ranged from 78,000 to 325,000 jobs.

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The payrolls increased more than anticipated, indicating that January’s surge in hiring was not coincidental.

Economists had argued that unseasonably warm weather, annual benchmark revisions to the data, and overly generous seasonal adjustment factors—the government’s model for removing seasonal fluctuations from the data—all contributed to job growth in January. Seasonal factors were also partially responsible for the robust growth in consumer spending in January.

After rising by 0.3 percent in January, average hourly earnings increased by 0.2 percent in February. Due in part to the elimination of the low readings from the previous year from the calculation, that increased the annual wage increase to 4.6 percent from 4.4 percent in January.

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Taken care of Seat Jerome Powell let administrators know this week that the U.S. national bank would almost certainly have to raise rates more than anticipated. CME Group’s FedWatch tool indicates that financial markets had priced in a 50-basis-point rate hike at the Fed’s March 21-22 policy meeting prior to the employment report.

Since March, the Fed has moved its policy rate from close to zero to the current range of 4.50 percent-4.75 percent.

Despite high-profile layoffs in the technology sector, the labor market has remained tight, and the number of first-time applications for unemployment benefits has remained very low.

According to the Fed’s “Beige Book” report, the labor market remained “solid” in February, with “scattered reports of layoffs” and “finding workers with desired skills or experience remained challenging.” This week, data showed that there were 1.9 job openings for every unemployed person. Last month, household perceptions of the labor market were also very positive.

The lowest rate of unemployment since May 1969 was 3.6% in February, up from 3.4% in January.

However, some economists cautioned against focusing too much on the narrow jobless rate gauge and advocated for a broader measure of unemployment, which includes those who want to work but have given up the search and those who are working part-time because they are unable to find full-time employment.

This so-called U-6 unemployment rate was 6.6% in January, which indicates that there were 10.9 million people looking for work—more than the 10.8 million job openings at the end of January—indicating that the labor market was balanced.