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United States jobs surge 313000 in February, unemployment steady

United States jobs surge 313000 in February, unemployment steady

FILE- In this Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, photo, work continues on a new development in Fair Lawn, N.J. On Friday, March 9, the Labor Department reported that USA employers added 313,000 jobs in February, the most in any month since July 2016, and drawing hundreds of thousands of people into the job market.

Though the unemployment rate is low, broader measures of unemployment are still elevated, suggesting there is still slack in the labor market that firms can draw from to increase worker output without very aggressively bidding up wages. Most of those new job seekers found work in February, leaving the number of unemployed little changed.

In fact, the proportion of adults in their prime working years - defined as ages 25 to 54 - with jobs rose sharply to 79.3 percent, just a few tenths of a point below its pre-recession level. The initial wage growth figure from January was revised down a notch, too. The Brownsville-Harlingen area was at 6.8 percent.

For a couple of years now, there has been a vigorous debate over just how close the USA economy is to full capacity, a discussion that has particularly big implications for how the Fed manages the economy.

"The February employment report was unambiguously strong, confirming that the US labor market is on fire", said Michelle Girard, chief USA economist at NatWest Markets.

The three-month average job growth was roughly 200,000 a month.

The move, which adds a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum tariffs from every country except Mexico and Canada, could cost the industry almost 30,000 jobs, according to a study by The Trade Partnership.

In a tweet Friday, the president praised the new figures which show more than 300,000 jobs were added in February.

Although Powell said there was no evidence of the economy overheating, he added "the thing we don't want to have happen is to get behind the curve".

United States jobs surge 313000 in February, unemployment steady
United States jobs surge 313000 in February, unemployment steady

Researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics make their estimates based on a sample of employer payrolls (and the numbers are recalculated as more companies transmit information).

The U.S. saw gains in sectors that the president has specifically targeted, including construction (+61,000), manufacturing (+31,000), and mining (+9,000)-which, until his election in 2016, were losing jobs.

"The headline number is pretty outstanding", says Cathy Barrera, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, a job recruitment site.

"The wealth creation effect of resource-oriented, manufacturing and building jobs, brought on not only by tax cuts by the Trump regulatory reform agenda, gives real hope that our nation's Gross Domestic Product will finally break through the three percent annual threshold that Obama apologists claimed was no longer attainable".

For now, though, the United States job market remains the biggest strength of the economy's recovery from the Great Recession.

The economy has expanded for 104 straight months, or almost nine years, the third-largest expansion on record, and hiring often declines as recessions fade further into the past.

Despite the stronger than expected job growth, the unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent in February.

Average hourly earnings for all private sector workers increased 4 cents last month to $26.75. That was down from 2.8 percent for the 12 months that ended January 31. Is higher inflation therefore on the way?

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