Published: Mon, March 11, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Job creation stalls in February as unemployment falls and wages rise

Job creation stalls in February as unemployment falls and wages rise

"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. Employers added just 20K new jobs in February.

But after the unusually dramatic swing in the critical monthly data, economists - whose forecasts missed badly - hastened to say that underlying employment trends remained strong, and highlighted the hefty boost in worker pay.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5%), Whites (3.3%), and Hispanics (4.3%) decreased in February. Combined, job gains in those two months were 12,000 more than previously reported. The government shutdown only mildly affected the establishment report and had no impact on the jobs number, due to the Bureau of Labor Statistics's methods.

Some experts fear the U.S. economy may suffer due to the prolonged trade conflict with China, and the lackluster performance of other global markets.

Home sales fell last year and price gains are slowing after the average rate on a 30-year mortgage reached almost 5 percent last year. That raised the annual increase in wages to 3.4 percent, the biggest gain since April 2009, from 3.1 percent in January.

The state's private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 NY employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The U.S. economy added 20,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.8 percent, making February the 101st month of consecutive job growth. The really good news is wage numbers.

But the construction, retail, mining and transportation sectors shed a combined 45,000 positions while the education sector added only 4,000 workers, down from 64,000 the prior month. "Job growth should bounce back in March and through the rest of this year".

USA employment has now risen for 100 consecutive months, the longest jobs-expansion streak on record.

The area's unemployment rate rose from December 2018 to January, losing 3,000 nonfarm jobs and 2,300 private sector jobs, specifically.

Official data showed that the number of people ending part-time jobs or on temporary leave dropped by 225,000.

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

"This month's jobs report highlights the importance of focusing on workforce investment that builds the skills needed to fill the record amount of open jobs".

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