Economy

BLS: Employment up 313000; unemployment rate unchanged

BLS: Employment up 313000; unemployment rate unchanged

Complementing the job gains, unemployment in the United States remained low last month - at just 4.1 percent. However, wages are up 2.6% from a year earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Forecasters had expected only about 200,000 new jobs for the month and only about 100,000 additional jobs per month are needed to keep up with population growth. Why the commitment to raising rates when wage growth is restrained, inflation remains low, and - this is key - there are still enough potential workers out there to allow for more than 300,000 new jobs in a single month? His administration oversaw an unusually long economic recovery throughout his presidency which followed a severe economic downturn now known as the Great Recession. The number of eligible people who were part of the labor force had been slipping, partly due to baby boomers heading to retirement. (The labor force participation rate in February was 63 percent, a 0.3 percent jump from the previous month).

The monthly update is regarded as the most important gauge of the health of the USA economy and the non-farm payrolls figure, which shows whether private employers other than farms are hiring staff, is the key statistic.

Hamrick said the Fed now has the green light for a March rate hike. Over the past year, Pennsylvania's rate went down by four-tenths of a percentage point. The three-month average, considered a more reliable gauge of the job situation than month-over-month changes, is now 242,000.

The stock market increased 19 percent overall in 2017 thanks to the anticipation and passage of the tax reform bill.

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Inflation fears would be dampened if productivity numbers were to rise more sharply. The initial data for January had shown a shorter workweek of 34.3 hours, which had the effect of boosting average hourly pay. California has gained almost 3 million jobs in an economic expansion that began in 2010. The rebound in the workweek and solid payroll print provide strong indications that the economy is poised to buck the trend of recent years, whereby GDP growth was soft in the first quarter, rebounded in the second quarter and leveled out in the second half - a pattern economists call "residual seasonality".

Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economists said that he is not paying much attention to wage data.

Hourly wages gained 0.2 percent in the month, matching analyst expectations but putting compensation up 2.6 percent over the same month past year - ahead of consumer inflation of 2.1 percent.

Hiring was strong across the board. Construction added 61,000 new jobs, a "surprisingly strong" number in the middle of winter, when construction tends to slow down, said Cathy Barrera, the chief economist at ZipRecruiter. Retailers added 50,000, the most in two years.