economy added 235,000 jobs in February maintaining a healthy pace of job
growth. The increase was widespread with only retail losing jobs. Construction
as well as education and health showed sizable increases. The December and January
numbers were revised up by 9,000. The unemployment rate edged down to 4.7
percent from 4.8 percent. Wage gains rose 0.2 percent for the month amounting
to 2.8 percent from a year ago vs. 2.6 percent in January.
President Trump is on his
way to achieving 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years, which requires
208,000 new jobs per month. After doldrums during the fourth quarter,
employment gains have picked up momentum despite the fact that the economy is
hovering around full employment. The overall picture of the economy is a
healthy one. Going forward, the
implementation of some of the Trump economic programs will boost employment and
economic activities further.
report will give more ammunition to the FOMC to raise the interest rate next
week. The central bank could hike the interest rate as many as four times this
year depending on the timing and the size of economic stimulus from the Trump
The warm weather through
much of the country helped job growth in construction, for example, even though
the record amount of rain in California was a negative factor.
picked up some steam after the disappointing January data. All indications are
that wages are rising at a faster pace. The tight labor market, healthy job
gains and the rising quit rate all point to higher wages. In addition, higher
minimum wages went into effect in many states including California and more
states will follow. A more comprehensive indicator of earnings---Employment
Cost Index---has been showing healthy increases in overall pay. A wage index
produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has shown even faster wage
increases than the average hourly earnings in recent months.
NFIB also point to wage pressures as the labor market tightens. Small
businesses are more comfortable about the economic outlook and has been hiring
people at a good clip. NFIB surveys for the past several months have shown that
hiring is the biggest problem facing them. In response to lower fuel
prices, better demand and easing credit conditions, SME hiring has been a
source of employment strengths and layoffs have been slowing.
jobless rate ticked down to 4.7 percent from 4.8 percent. Labor force
participation rate has ticked up to 63 percent from 62.9 percent. The word is out that there are jobs out there
and pay is going up.