U.S. job gains in February exceed expectation

10 March, 2018, 01:26 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • Strong US job growth forecast unemployment rate seen at 4 pct

I expect workers to report a 6-cent hourly raise in February, a little off of last month's pace. Experts had forecasted a gain of just 200,000 jobs for the month. The report published today (March 9) also revised up the figure for January to 239,000. Wall Street already experienced a tumultuous month, with February marking the worst month for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 since January 2016.

Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, noted Friday that the employment-to-population ratio for prime age workers - or those aged 25-54 - hit 79.3% in February, the highest since the middle of 2008. Retail trade and professional and business services also fared well, with each sector adding 50,000 jobs from January.

The unemployment rate for those who have served in the armed forces anytime since September 2001 dropped to 3.3 percent, matching a record low from December. Then we'll say we've got something going on here. "We saw positive movement in the labor force participation rate, and we would like to see that continue over the coming months".

The latest economic report comes less than two weeks before the Federal Reserve meets on monetary policy.

This was the 157 straight week that claims stayed below the 300,000, a level which suggests a strong job market.

What he's looking for is wage increases that portend price increases that he incorrectly defines as inflation. "For the Federal Reserve, the report should help soothe concerns over an overheating economy". Effectively, then, the Fed is actually slowly removing excess credit from the economy rather than adding to it.

While the hiring increases are a good sign, wage growth did not increase as those fell from January to 2.6 percent year-over-year. Thanks to the fiscal stimulus from tax reform, this seasonality is unlikely to recur in 2018.

Yes, it would be nice to see paychecks rise faster, but the saving grace of the fact that they aren't is that it allows the Fed a little more room for patience, strengthening the arguments of the "let it run" faction inside the central bank.

Low unemployment, in theory, creates wage and inflation pressure as firms compete for scarcer labor.

For those who believe Otani and FactSet, the future looks rosy. In Modesto unemployment was at 7.4 percent, up from 6.8 percent. Extending those gains on a straight line into the future, 2018 could generate returns close to those enjoyed by investors previous year. When that happens, companies can pay workers more without eating into their bottom lines. "The fear is that this could absolutely create a significant problem for the US and the global economy".



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