- U.S. Adds 313,000 Jobs in February; Wages Remain Weak
The US labor market created the most jobs in almost two years in February as participation rate inched higher.
Employers created 313,000 jobs in February, with the estimates for the two previous months (December 2017 and January 2018) revised higher by 54,000, the Labor Department report showed on Friday.
The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent, slightly higher than the 4 percent predicted by economists. While, the average hourly earnings increased by 2.6 percent on a yearly basis, this was below the downwardly revised 2.8 percent gain recorded in January.
The participation rate rose from 62.7 percent in January to 63 in February, the highest since September 2017 and the reason why despite strong job creation, the unemployment rate remained unchanged as the number of unemployed persons rose by 785,000 in the month.
The report showed the U.S. labor market remained healthy amid strong economic growth but the surged in participation rate signals a possible slack in the market, this, experts expect to compel Federal Reserve to a gradual rate hike in 2018.
“This is a report that’s going to strengthen the argument of some of the doves on the Fed, that people came back to the labor force last month — that’s a positive sign for the U.S. economy,” Alan Krueger, a Princeton University professor who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama, said on Bloomberg Television. “We’ll see how long that can continue.”
The U.S. dollar gained 0.67 percent against the Yen to 106.93, partly due to the Bank of Japan’s decision to maintain current quantitative easing until inflation hit 2 percent target.