February Jobs Report Comes in Huge: 313000 Jobs Added

Dow surges on strong jobs report

(Kitco News) - The gold market is seeing little movement Friday, following mixed employment data of strong employment gains but weak wage growth last month.

FBN's Adam Shapiro discusses the Department of Labor's February jobs report, which revealed 313,000 jobs were added to the economy last month. Retail trade employment rose by 50,300. Federal Reserve policymakers watch the report closely. Job growth over the a year ago has typically been closer to 200,000 with a few exceptions.

The jobless rate for all adults was 3.7 percent, unchanged from the prior month. It's the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years.

Still economists said the report does not fuel fears of runaway inflation.

As for the jobless rate of black Americans - a statistic that President Trump has referred to often in recent months - after a sharp increase in January, that rate took a big step in the right direction in February, just off the all-time low set in December.

How much workers are being paid has remained a concern despite the positive trends elsewhere.

- The U nemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%, markets expected a decline of 0.1%. It was also the longest since a similar run that ended in 1970, when the labor market was a lot smaller than it is today.

Wage figures were the biggest focus for investors ahead of this report as an acceleration in wage gains is seen as portending an increase in inflation, which could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise rates more aggressively than markets expect.

The AP reports that the increase in workers being hired may be tied in part to confidence from business owners that President Donald Trump's recently passed tax plan will result in continued growth for businesses. It's that we want people to understand what's good and what isn't good, and to make it clear that the United States of America needs to do considerably better than that if it wants to experience real prosperity.

Average hourly earnings grew 0.1% from January, hitting below economist projections of 0.2% and even lower than January's 0.3% rise. Employers look to ensure sudden economic and policy changes aren't going to undermine potential investments.

The number of people working or looking for work also jumped by more than 800,000 last month. Critics have countered the gains are primarily due to what Obama was able to accomplish before leaving office. Meanwhile, unemployment numbers remain stagnant. This chart shows the monthly increases in jobs (the numbers are in thousands). Gross domestic product estimates for the January-March quarter are around a 2 percent annualised growth rate.

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