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US jobs surge 313,000 in February, unemployment steady

AFP  |  Washington 

The US employment engine roared in February, adding more new jobs than any month in over a year as robust hiring picked up in construction, and manufacturing, the government reported today.

Employers added 313,000 net new non-farm jobs last month, the biggest monthly increase since July 2016, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent for the fifth month in a row, the Department said in the highly-anticipated monthly report.

he result shattered economists' expectations, giving a shot in the arm just as his support for his "First" economic agenda appeared to be on shaky ground.

Trump broke with the leaders of his own this week, announcing steep tariffs on and aluminum imports in a move denounced by top congressional leaders, who said it could undermine the benefits of December's sweeping tax cuts and prompt a global trade war.

The also was likely to heighten Wall Street anxieties that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates even faster than expected in 2018.

On top of the exceptionally strong February, the job gains in December and January were revised up by a combined 54,000, bringing average monthly job creation to a strong 242,000 a month for the latest three months, the Department.

Hourly wages gained 0.2 percent for the month, matching expectations but putting compensation up 2.6 percent over the same month last year -- ahead of consumer inflation, which was measured at 2.1 percent. That could fuel concerns about rising inflation pressures.

The goods-producing sector, including mining, and the auto sector, added 100,000 new positions while the private services sector added 187,00 jobs.

The public sector gained 26,000, with hiring added in education and at the level.

There also were signs the hunger for increasingly scarce workers was causing companies to dig deeper into the pool.

The number of discouraged workers or those marginally attached the labor market -- such as people working part time who want a full-time position -- fell 149,000 from a year earlier to 373,000.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 20:00 IST