Economy

WRAPUP 5-US economy creates 313000 jobs in February; wage growth slows

WRAPUP 5-US economy creates 313000 jobs in February; wage growth slows

The agency reported that the US economy added 313,000 jobs in February, marking the country's 89th consecutive month of job growth. "The additional good news is that a large number of these jobs are being created in resource industries, manufacturing and building, activities which are fundamental to robust economic growth".

The number of people marginally attached to the workforce (that is, discouraged workers now not looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them) has fallen by almost 150,000 from this same point a year ago, and the number of employed black Americans is hitting record highs. The legal services data cover lawyers, paralegals, legal secretaries and other law-related professions. "Today's report shows that average hourly earnings significantly increased in February and have increased by 2.6 percent over the previous year".

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. In another sign of a strong labor market, the number of workers in the USA labor force increased by 806,000, the largest monthly increase since 2003.

Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, which tracks average worker pay, said the hourly increase in February's report was "relatively disappointing", compared to monthly wage bumps before the last downturn.

The U.S. saw gains in sectors that the president has specifically targeted, including construction (+61,000), manufacturing (+31,000), and mining (+9,000)-which, until his election in 2016, were losing jobs.

The focus of this report was wage growth.

Perhaps the February numbers will change some minds. February was the fifth month in a row that the US unemployment rate was at 4.1 percent, which is also a 17-year-low, according to the Labor Department.

More news: Federal appeals court gives workplace non-discrimination protection to transgender individuals

Earlier this week, the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages jumped to 4.46 percent, from 4.43 percent a week earlier, marking the highest average since the beginning of 2014.

Manufacturers expanded at the fastest pace in almost 14 years in February, according to a survey of purchasing managers. This year, average hourly earnings have increased by 68 cents.

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicted the positive job report would likely influence the Federal Reserve's decision later this month to raise rates, thus setting in motion an uptick in mortgage rates that could affect housing affordability this year.

An even broader gauge of labor market health, the percentage of working-age Americans with a job, increased to 60.4 percent last month from 60.1 percent in January.

From January 2017 to January 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates MA has added 29,000 jobs.

"We still have more room to run for this expansion".

Mr Trump broke with the leaders of his own Republican Party this week, announcing steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in a move denounced by top congressional leaders, who said it could undermine the benefits of December's sweeping tax cuts and prompt a global trade war.


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