February Jobs BOOM: Economy Adds 273,000 Jobs, Unemployment at 3.4 Percent
Despite early fears of coronavirus, the U.S. added 273,000 jobs and the unemployment rate ticked back down to 3.5 percent for the month of February.
The Labor Department also showed solid monthly wage growth and employers increased hours for workers last month. The economy also created 85,000 additional jobs than previously reported for the months of December and January.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by 175,000 jobs in February. The economy needs to create roughly 100,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population. Employment gains averaged 243,000 per month in the last three months.
Transportation and warehousing payrolls fell by 4,000 jobs in February, and some believe it to be a sign of the early impact of the coronavirus.
Michael Hicks, an economist at Ball State University tells Reuters that the job numbers will be “eclipsed” by the spread of coronavirus.
“Sadly, these job numbers are sure to be eclipsed by response to the spread of the coronavirus,” said Hicks . “The supply shocks from quarantined factories in Asia are weeks away from idling U.S. factories, and the demand-side impact on tourism, travel, eating and drinking establishments is already being felt across the world. The March jobs report, will be far less optimistic.”
President Trump tweeted about the good news today, writing “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!!” and linking to an article about the economy.
JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!! https://t.co/x0olZd3RLu
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2020
The average workweek increased to 34.4. hours and the labor force participation rate remained at 63.4 percent–the highest since June 2013.
“Construction payrolls increased by 42,000 in February after surging 49,000 in January. Manufacturing employment rebounded by 15,000 jobs after falling 20,000 in January. Manufacturing has been beset by problems ranging from the U.S.-China trade war to Boeing’s BA.N suspension in January of the production of its troubled 737 MAX jetliner,” writes Reuters.
For the full report, click HERE.