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Blockbuster: February Jobs Report 'Crushes' Expectations, GOP Policies Boosting Economy

10 March 2018

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.4 million in February and accounted for 20.7 percent of the unemployed. Hiring picked up at retailers, manufacturers and local governments, including schools. Up to 145,000 jobs could be lost even those industries will likely add workers.

"While the employment gains unequivocally suggest underlying strength in the economy, wage gains remain muted enough for the Fed to continue with an only gradual normalization of the policy stance". Th is contributed to a 0.3% increase in the labor force participation rate to 63%.

Overall, U.S. employment rose by 313,000 last month, according to the BLS. Retail trade and professional and business services also fared well, with each sector adding 50,000 jobs from January. Banks and financial institutions added 28,000 jobs.

I'll be interested in the manufacturing numbers in the next few months since President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel imports. Mining grew by 9,000 jobs.

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Industry employment for the most part has increased steadily the last year-and-a-half, thanks in large part to the uptick in drilling activity in hot shale plays like the Permian. The Labor Department reported on Friday that the US added 313,000 jobs for the biggest gain in almost two years.

Analysts have also said no one should call this economy a late cycle.

The pickup in wage growth last month helped trigger the stock market's first correction, or drop of more than 10%, in two years, as investors became concerned that a heating economy would prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than expected.

The report signaled the labor market remains strong and will keep driving economic growth.

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Most economists expect growth to pick up in the coming months and to accelerate inflation slightly by year's end.

"The underlying economic growth is quite strong, but there's no real pressures from a wages and inflation standpoint", said Greg Peters, senior investment officer at PGIM Fixed Income, according to CNBC, "It's very good for risk assets".

The number of people that have given up looking for jobs, so-called discouraged workers, declined 149,000 from the same month past year.

The release added, "The change in total Nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised up from +160,000 to +175,000, and the change for January was revised up from +200,000 to +239,000".

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Blockbuster: February Jobs Report 'Crushes' Expectations, GOP Policies Boosting Economy