Economy Gains 20,000 Jobs in February; Unemployment Down to 3.8%

Economy Gains 20,000 Jobs in February; Unemployment Down to 3.8%

The U.S. economy gained 20,000 jobs in February, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a dramatically lower level of job growth than we have seen in recent years and is good reason for the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee to express caution in considering any interest rate hikes.

In response to the February job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs said:

While wages were up 3.4% over last February, wage increases were not widespread. In leisure and hospitality they were up 4.6%, but in manufacturing they were only up 2.6%. In retail trade they were up 5.0%, but in transportation and warehousing they were only up 2.4%. Retail and leisure and hospitality have large shares of minimum wage workers who got boosts from automatic inflation adjustments because of state laws protecting the real wages of minimum wage workers.

He also tweeted:

Last month’s biggest job gains were in professional and business services (42,000), health care (21,000), wholesale trade (11,000) and manufacturing (4,000). Construction employment saw losses in February (-31,000). Employment in other major industries, including leisure and hospitality, mining, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities and government, showed little or no change over the month.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates rose for teenagers (13.4%). The jobless rate declined for Hispanics (4.3%). The jobless rate for blacks (7.0%), adult men (3.5%), adult women (3.4%), whites (3.3%) and Asians (3.1%) showed little change in February.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose in February and accounted for 20.4% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell
Fri, 03/08/2019 – 11:58

Please follow and like us:
Updated: March 20, 2019 — 11:36 am