The February jobs report — released this morning — exceeded expectations, as the U.S. economy added well over the expected 190,000 new jobs.
As you may know, following each month’s BLS jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.
News You Can Use From Today's Release
1. Job creation exceeded expectations while the unemployment rate ticked down. As Reuters put it: “U.S. employers hired workers at a robust pace in February, beating expectations, and wages grinded higher…” Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped from 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent.
Unemployment rate fell for the right reasons: More employed, fewer unemployed, growing workforce.— Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) March 10, 2017
Also noteworthy in this report is the increase in wages.
According to USA Today: “Average hourly wages rose 6 cents to $26.09, nudging annual gains back near a seven-year high at 2.8% from 2.5%. Pay increases unexpectedly slowed in January despite minimum wage hikes by 19 states, and many economists predicted the higher base pays and tight labor market would spur a rebound in February. Pay gains are expected to accelerate as the low unemployment rate forces employers to bid up to attract a smaller pool of workers.”
2. Will the Fed raise interest rates? That’s the question on everybody’s mind.
According to MarketWatch: “The rock-solid employment report appears to seal the deal for an increase in a key U.S. interest rate that helps determine borrowing costs for businesses and consumers. The Federal Reserve has already given strong indication it plans to move next week.”
According to CNN Money: “Solid job gains almost certainly clear the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next week. Fed leaders like Chair Janet Yellen said a rate hike in March would be appropriate if the economy stayed on track. It did just that.”
3. Significant uptick in construction and manufacturing jobs. Looking at industries, some fared better than others — and this may have had something to do with the unpredictable climate.
According to Business Insider: “The manufacturing sector saw solid gains last month, according to the BLS and ADP. Economists cautioned, however, that this may have been because of an unusually warm month. This February was the second warmest on record, most likely increasing demand for jobs in industries that involve outdoor work. The construction sector added 58,000 jobs, the most in 10 years.”
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