Jobs report: 235K jobs added last month, unemployment rate falls to 4.7 percent


U.S. employers added a robust 235,000 jobs in February and raised pay at a healthy pace, evidence that the economy remains on solid footing nearly eight years after the Great Recession ended.

The unemployment rate dipped to a low 4.7 percent from 4.8 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday. More people began looking for jobs, increasing the proportion of Americans working or looking for work to the highest level in nearly a year.

The strong job growth, decent pay gains and low unemployment rate make it all but certain that the Federal Reserve will raise short-term interest rates when it meets next week.

February’s job gains were boosted by 58,000 additional construction positions, the most in nearly a decade. That figure was likely enhanced by unseasonably warm weather in much of the nation.

Friday’s report was the first to cover a full month under President Donald Trump. Trump has already tweeted cheerfully about a survey of private-sector hiring released earlier this week that suggested a robust job gain in February.

That survey, by payroll provider ADP, concluded that private employers added 298,000 jobs in February, the biggest monthly gain in three years.

An array of evidence suggests that the U.S. job market is fundamentally healthy or nearly so. The number of people seeking first-time unemployment benefits — a rough proxy for the pace of layoffs — reached a 44-year low two weeks ago.



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