Saturday, 23 March, 2019


February unemployment report to be released Friday

February jobs report—What to know in markets Friday America Created Just 20,000 Jobs in February
Conrad Doyle | 10 March, 2019, 22:57

In the past three months, job gains have averaged 186,000.

Some of the weakness could be chalked up to winter weather, as construction jobs fell by 31,000, though many other sectors were soft including education and health services as well as leisure and hospitality.

The unemployment rate for Americans who didn't graduate from high school fell to 5.3% in February, the lowest level since the Labor Department began tracking that statistic in the early 1990s.

Thus, we have in the February report a labor market that has regularly beaten expectations in the preceding months, with some methodological dynamics at play as well.

Of the 15 major industry groups, only seven added jobs for the month. "Women's unemployment rate is down to 3.6% - was 7.9% in January, 2011".

At the same time, policymakers and economists might wait for several months of weak hiring before concluding there's cause for concern in the labor market.

The unemployment rate is also expected to have dropped to 3.9%.

The data present a mixed bag for the Federal Reserve, which has said it will hold off on additional rate increases amid signs economic growth is moderating and the absence of inflation.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 11 cents in February to $27.66, following a 2-cent gain in January. Wages grew by 3.4 percent previous year, the largest gain since 2009.

"At 3.4 per cent year-over-year, wage gains hit their highest mark since April 2009".

The state's private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 NY employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manufacturing gained just 4,000 jobs - far fewer than the 21,000 that were added in January.

"The U.S. labor market is still in good shape", said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial.

"The unemployment rate declined two ticks to 3.8% last month, lowered in part by previously furloughed federal workers being back on the job last month and no longer counted as unemployed". The employment-population ratio, at 60.7%, was unchanged over the month but was up by 0.3 percentage point over the year.

Job losses were posted in government (-400), and professional and business services (-100), and governmental losses were concentrated in education (-300), according to the data.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 2,500 (+0.4%) jobs over the month. With these revisions, temporary help employment growth was lower than previously reported by 6,900 jobs.

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