Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

February jobs report boasts most hires since July 2016

February jobs report boasts most hires since July 2016

The American legal industry employed 200 fewer people in February than in the prior month, despite a positive job growth report for the overall U.S. economy, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor. Still, that is the biggest gain for construction since 2007. That lowered the year-on-year increase in average hourly earnings to 2.6 percent from 2.8 percent in January.

On March 7, payroll services firm ADP Inc. issued its monthly employment report, stating that nonfarm payroll employment rose by 235,000 jobs in February. Economists appeared split over what caused the higher-than-projected surge of jobs.

Still economists expect tax cuts, which are putting more money in consumers' pockets and meant to incentivize business investment, to support growth later this year. The tax cuts came into effect in January. "Even if the dollars aren't in the pockets of companies yet, they're making plans".

This is not the kind of data you expect in an expansion that is 9 years old or out of a labor market that is already at full employment.

"With the economy growing, manufacturing on the upswing and businesses flush with cash from the tax cut, there's never been a better time to level the playing field for our steel communities", Mr. Paul said. "If demand for products hasn't gone up, there's not more work for these companies to be doing". "They like the outlook for growth and how supportive federal policy will be for it". "On balance, developments since December generally reinforce my view of the need for somewhat more removal of accommodation", he said. Retail payrolls jumped by 50,300, the largest increase since February 2016.

“ABC has been indicating that 2018 would represent the best year for the US economy since at least 2005, ” said Basu.

"It's getting more competitive in this market", Peters said. 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.

Labor Secretary Alec Acosta doubled down on the stance Trump's tax moves unleashed growth in a statement Friday. For the 12 months that ended February 28, wages increased 2.6 percent.

The country's unemployment rate remained unchanged in February at 4.1 percent, while average wages for non-farm jobs increased by $0.04 to an hourly rate of $26.75.

The Labor Department says wage gains, meanwhile, fell from the previous month to 2.6 percent year-over-year growth.

According to Reuters, the February report suggests "the economy remained strong despite weak consumer spending, home sales and industrial production and a wider trade deficit in January that prompted economists to lower their first-quarter growth estimates".

"We've seen the labor force participation rate go sideways now for four straight years, and that is actually a big gain against what is a downward trend due to aging and other things", Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told members of Congress last week. Some blame the opioid epidemic, which, studies show, has knocked a chunk of potential hires out of the workforce.

Wage growth slowed, and the spike reported last month was revised lower.

Like this: