Well, maybe now they’re finally coming out and finding the jobs that they hope to find. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, has cast herself as the logical successor to President Barack Obama and his stewardship of the economy. Job losses continued in mining as the slump in commodity prices hurt the sector. At the same time, stronger wage growth, which will play a role in deciding the race for the White House, would help move inflation closer to the Federal Reserve’s goal. “However, we should not be too surprised about a slowdown as the labor market approaches full employment”, said chief United States economist at UniCredit Research in NY. It was the 72 straight month of positive jobs numbers, dating back to 2010. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 1 percent in late afternoon trading.
Retailers added 54,900 jobs last month.
Energy firms have been pummeled by the fall in oil prices and the manufacturing sector has been squeezed by a strong dollar and soft overseas growth. Employment in construction was up by 253,000 over the last 12 months, with residential specialty contractors accounting for about half of that total. In addition, the manufacturing sector had added little more than 12,000 new positions during the same period.
LOGAN: Labor market conditions are improving in a manner that more people feel that they can find jobs, and they are finding jobs.
The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9% in February, as expected by analysts. “Our view remains that declining corporate profit margins will prompt aggressive cost-cutting and thus a slower trend for nonfarm payroll growth (most notably later this year and into 2017), which in turn will lead to a slower trend for consumer spending growth”, MFR, Inc. economist Joshua Shapiro wrote in an e-mailed analysis.
Other parts of the world – from China and India to Europe and Latin America – are suffering from slowing growth. Oil prices may still be causing ulcers, but this time it is producers who are feeling the pain, because the prices have plunged. Joblessness was projected to hold at 4.9 percent, an eight-year low, according to the survey median.
Still, troubles overseas have tempered USA economic growth. Numerous jobs created after the recession were in lower-paid occupations – from cashiers, waiters and store clerks to home health aides and temporary workers. Also, weekly wages lost 0.7 percent on a monthly basis.
“Sustained global uncertainty, coupled with the forthcoming U.S. presidential elections, which feature candidates on opposite sides of the fiscal policy spectrum, may force Yellen and Co.to delay any further interest rate movements”.
Economists were searching for explanations for the sudden reversal given the otherwise strong jobs report. They create a so-called “shadow inventory” of employable people, which in turn puts pressure on current job-seekers to take whatever wages employers offer, rather than try to negotiate higher pay. It occurred before February 15, possibly missing a payday for workers who are paid semimonthly.
However, today’s job report also included some disappointments and concerns.
Some businesses intend to ramp up hiring further. Hotels and restaurants added 42,000.