United States adds 313000 Jobs in February

Chicago President Charles Evans participates in a moderated discussion in Zurich Switzerland

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Evans participates in discussion in Zurich Thomson Reuters

The overall jobless rate was unchanged from December and MA remained more than a half percentage point below the US unemployment rate. Companies have added an average of 242,000 jobs a month over the past three months, above 2017's pace of 182,000. In 2017, the USA economy added 259,000 jobs in January and 200,000 jobs in February.

The unemployment rate remained steady even though more workers joined the job hunt, lifting the labor force participation rate up to 63 percent.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.1 percent from the prior month following a 0.3 percent increase, the report showed.

The jobs report was exactly what Wall Street wanted.

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Jobs grew 175,000 in December, 239,000 in January and 313,000 in February demonstrating a healthy and growing economy.

Economists had been expecting non-farm payroll growth of 200,000 and the unemployment rate to decline one-10th of a percent to 4%.

Most of the latest U.S. jobs report was undoubtedly good. Government employment was up by 26,000.

"President Trump's tax reform continues to boost economic confidence with more than 400 companies handing out bonuses, raises, or other benefits to more than 4 million Americans", said U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. Yet barely a month after the tax cuts became law, investors shifted their focus to the potential consequences: Faster growth that might intensify inflation and lead the Fed to accelerate its rate hikes. Considering how strong demand is for labor, policymakers at the Federal Reserve may not want to risk runaway wage gains as employers try increasingly to attract candidates, according to Bloomberg. The number of eligible people who were part of the labor force had been slipping, partly due to baby boomers heading to retirement.

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For now, though, investors believe the more modest wage rise signals runaway inflation hasn't arrived.

The other side of this debate might be called the "let it run" camp, who argue that a lot of good things might happen if the Fed and other policymakers move patiently and see whether some of the damage done by the 2008 recession might fix itself in a sufficiently hot economy.

"This is consistent with the view that there are still many workers who are outside the workforce, but will return in response to a strong labour market", wrote Dean Baker, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

"It is only a matter of time before we see more sustained increases in wages", she wrote.

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Markets whipsawed last month as new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's first testimony before Congress made it appear certain that the Fed would hike rates four times this year - instead of the three hikes indicated in December.

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