US Economy Adds 313000 Jobs in February, Unemployment Rate Remains Steady

Dow surges on strong jobs report

Dow surges on strong jobs report

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February's hiring surge points to a US job market that remains robust, and might even be strengthening. A dip to 4% will create more upward pressure on wages.

"There appears to still be room to move more potential workers from the sidelines and back into the ranks of the employed", said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors.

Well, what do you know?

The US economy added 313,000 jobs in February, many more than economists had expected, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor statistics released Friday.

Jobs in the construction, retail, manufacturing, mining and business services sectors helped propel the biggest employment boost since July 2016 and keeps in motion an 89-month string of gains. At the same time, other information released by the government this week showed initial jobless claims still near their lowest level in nearly 50 years, suggesting layoffs are down and employers are trying to hold on to their workers. Construction added 61,000 jobs. Although, over the past 4 months, which traditionally, see the bulk of the holiday hiring and layoff, employment in has changed little on net. The number of employed people in the workforce rose by 785,000, according to the report.

Saudi-UK CEO Forum Held in London
It follows a trip to Egypt earlier in the week, when Prince Mohammed met Coptic Pope Tawadros II in Cairo. London also eyes listing state oil firm Saudi Aramco in its stock market.

San Diego County lost 20,500 jobs in January, as the unemployment rate rose to 3.6 percent from 3.3 percent in December. That's a very good month.

In terms of actual job growth, though, the numbers under President Trump have lagged the last two years of the Obama Administration.

Though the unemployment rate is low, broader measures of unemployment are still elevated, suggesting there is still slack in the labor market that firms can draw from to increase worker output without very aggressively bidding up wages. Markets were expecting to see an increase of 0.2%. The economy desperately needs them working because it needs the productivity they can provide, but getting them on board and getting them up to speed won't be that easy. The share of employed people age 25 to 54, for instance, is now 79.3 percent, still below the 80.3 percent level reached in 2006 and way off the 82 percent rate from 2000.

There are still three weeks left in the first quarter.

For a couple of years now, there has been a vigorous debate over just how close the American economy is to full capacity, a discussion that has particularly big implications for Fed policy.

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