Job growth in February slowed to just 20000 new hires

Job growth in February slowed to just 20000 new hires

Job growth in February slowed to just 20000 new hires

USA employers added just 20,000 net new positions for the month, only a fraction of what economists had been expecting, while unemployment fell two tenths to 3.8 percent, its lowest level since October, according to the closely-watched Labor Department report.

The state ended 2018 with a 3.8 percent unemployment rate, down from 4.6 percent in 2017.

"The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that MA had the highest employment to population gains of any state in 2018", Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said in a news release.

Hiring across the US slowed far more than expected in February, the Labor Department said Friday, further adding to fears of an economic slowdown.

Meanwhile, average hourly wages rose 11 cents for the month to $27.66, putting them up 3.4 percent over the same month previous year - more than twice as fast as inflation. While the tariffs have benefitted some sectors, others like the automotive industry are dealing with increased raw material prices that are adding millions to yearly costs.

"America's workforce continues to grow, with 20,000 new jobs created in February and upward revisions of 12,000 jobs from prior months".

Pittsburgh veterans job fair meet with recruiters at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. On Friday March 8 the U.S. government issues the February jobs report which will reveal the latest unemployment rate

It was the worst month for job creation since September 2017, when two major hurricanes hit the employment market, offset somewhat by a solid increase in wages. However, the number is still behind the national average and neighboring MA (both at 1.8 percent for the year). January's revised numbers showed an increase of 311,000, while December's revised report reflected a gain of 227,000 jobs.

All told, Friday's monthly employment report from the government pointed to a still-sturdy job market and economy. "But 20,000 jobs is not what we're going to be creating month-in and month-out". Health care added 21,000 jobs and wholesale trade added 11,000 positions. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 9,800 (+1.2%) jobs.

The unemployment rate fell despite the tepid pace of hiring.

The labor force participation rate held steady at 63.2 percent and has changed little over the year.

The unemployment rate fell back to below 4 percent and a wider measure of underemployment fell by the most ever.

Manufacturing jobs level remained unchanged over the month. That could mean employers brought people on full-time because of the difficulty of finding new employees, although the average workweek declined slightly and many federal workers returned from furlough after the government shutdown.

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