February Jobs Report: 20,000 Jobs Added, Unemployment 3.8 Percent

The United States added just 20,000 jobs in February significantly below expectations of a 180,000 gain and a sign that the job market might be beginning to cool

The state Department of Labor (DOL) said Friday that an annual revision conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that CT only added about 10,000 jobs past year, or almost half of what was originally estimated.

"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.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5%), Whites (3.3%), and Hispanics (4.3%) decreased in February.

Even with the pickup in wages, Federal Reserve policy makers have indicated this year they won't raise interest rates again until seeing inflation advance.

Trailing sectors were leisure and hospitality (500 new jobs), education and health services (400) and information (300).

On a more positive note, the proportion of part-time workers who'd prefer full-time jobs fell sharply last month.

US hiring was the weakest in more than a year while wage gains were the fastest of the expansion and the unemployment rate fell, a possible sign that America's jobs engine is starting to slow down.

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While February's job growth was the weakest since September 2017, other details of the closely followed employment report were strong. Treasuries rose while the dollar and stock futures fell.

Economists say employers have kept hiring at a strong pace despite low unemployment as more people returned to the labor force, including students, women and people who had dropped out to collect disability benefits. Average hourly earnings are anticipated to have jumped 0.3% from January and 3.3% from past year.

The US economy created the lowest number of jobs for a year-and-a-half in February, well below forecasts. Economists said the weakness may have been exaggerated after a big gain in the prior month or due to seasonal adjustment, meant to smooth out sharp swings due to weather or other expected elements. Average hourly earnings rose a better-than-projected 3.4 per cent from a year earlier, while the jobless rate declined to 3.8 per cent, near a five-decade low.

CT had 0.6 percent job growth in 2018, up from 0.1 percent in 2017 and 0.2 percent in 2016, Gioia said.

Healthcare added 21,000 and wholesale trade went up 11,000.

While optimism among US manufacturers remains high, for example, almost 72 percent of respondents listed hiring as a tob concern. The economy added 260,000 jobs the following month.

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