For the U.S., it's jobs, jobs, jobs! (Just don't mention wages)

Mar 10, 2018, 00:35
For the U.S., it's jobs, jobs, jobs! (Just don't mention wages)

Despite a lower-than-expected wage increase in February, many economists said longer term trends still point to higher wages.

The world's largest economy added 313,000 jobs last month, the strongest gain since July 2016, according to the employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The BLS report found that average wages increased by four cents and now sit at $26.75 for the month of February.

Over the past three months, job gains averaged 242,000, a pace regarded as healthy, as the job market is approaching full employment.

The unemployment rate in MA held steady at 3.5 percent in January while preliminary estimates show the state lost more than 6,000 jobs during the month.

The average workweek rebounded to 34.5 hours after falling to 34.4 hours in the previous month.

Wages have lagged behind the growth in employment since the last recession.

"We would really like to see the wage rate come up from where it was in 2017", Barrera said. However, wages are up 2.6% from a year earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported.

This report also clears the way for the Federal Reserve Board to raise the benchmark interest rate when it meets this month under its new chairman, Jerome H. Powell.

"We're already seeing this working and we're already seeing workers get the benefits of this", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Friday. Workers unemployed for less than 14 weeks increased by 191,000, while the number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, fell by 24,000 and accounted for 20.7% of the unemployed. The manufacturing sector also added 31,000 jobs, while retail employment rebounded from declines a year ago.

Some companies like Starbucks Corp and FedEx Corp have said they would use some of their windfall from a Dollars 1.5 trillion income tax cut package to boost workers' salaries. "We continue to expect the strongest year of economic growth since 2005". Experts had forecasted a gain of just 200,000 jobs for the month. The economy grew at a 2.5 percent pace in the fourth quarter. Over the past 14 months, the US economy has added 195,714 each month on average-a strong figure. Construction added 61,000 new jobs, a "surprisingly strong" number in the middle of winter, when construction tends to slow down, said Cathy Barrera, the chief economist at ZipRecruiter. Hiring at construction sites was likely boosted by unseasonably mild temperatures in February.

Manufacturing payrolls were up 31,000, well above the consensus target of 17,000. Employment in the manufacturing sector, which is supported by strong domestic and worldwide demand as well as a weaker dollar, rose by 31,000.

Employment data from the US Department of Labor (DOL) is due to be released later in the day.

Manufacturing totaled 12.614 million jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in February, which is up from 12.583 million in January 2018. Retail trade employment rose by 50 k over the month. "JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!", he wrote, adding the hashtag "#MAGA" to invoke his campaign trail slogan: "Make America Great Again".

Financial sector payrolls increased by 28,000 last month, the most since October 2005.

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