US February job growth weakest in nearly 1-1/2 years

Mar 11, 2019, 10:31
US February job growth weakest in nearly 1-1/2 years

"We expect a sharp moderation in employment growth in February to 141,000 after surprising to the upside in January with a 304,000 print", Morgan Stanley economist Ellen Zentner wrote in a note Thursday.

The Labor Department on Friday reported that the country experienced a fall in job growth in February.

"We've seen a spike in job postings that say, 'No experience necessary, ' or, 'No prior experience required, '" said Julia Pollak, an economist at ZipRecruiter.

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The national unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent. "Slower job growth was expected after huge average gains of better than 250,000 over the preceding four months". The tax cuts and stimulus of additional government spending seem to be wearing off, economic growth overseas has weakened, and the partial government shutdown and ongoing trade tensions appear to be weighing on consumer and business spending.

Some experts fear the USA economy may suffer due to the prolonged trade conflict with China, and the lackluster performance of other global markets. Average hourly earnings are anticipated to have jumped 0.3% from January and 3.3% from a year ago. Wages continued to gain ground, increasing by 11 cents following a two-cent growth in January. The unemployment rate just went lower. "I think the big news really was that wages went up and that's great for the American worker". The number of job ads on its site that offer to pay for training, she said, jumped 42 percent past year from 2017. Retail sales, homebuilding, business spending and exports all declined in December, setting the economy on a slower growth path.

The economy produced only 20,000 new jobs in February for its weakest showing since September 2017, according to the Labor Department's monthly report.

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State officials say MA employers added an estimated 11,400 jobs in January while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.1 percent. Manufacturing added just 4,000, the fewest in a year and a half.

Still, the economy that in July will mark 10 years of expansion, the longest on record, is slowing and the weakening job gains support the Federal Reserve's "patient" approach toward further interest rate increases this year. The leisure and hospitality sector added no jobs.

CT now needs to add 19,300 net new jobs to reach an overall employment expansion. With these revisions, temporary help employment growth was lower than previously reported by 6,900 jobs.

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