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Financial News: U.S. Job Growth Exceeds Estimates In February But

U.S. Job Growth Exceeds Estimates In February But Previous Months Downwardly Revised

03/08/2024 - 10:16:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Employment in the U.S. increased by much more than expected in the month of February, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday, although the report also showed notable downward revisions to job growth in the two previous months.

The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment surged by 275,000 jobs in February, while economists had expected employment to jump by 200,000 jobs.

However, the report also said job growth in December and January was downwardly revised to 290,000 and 229,000 jobs, respectively, reflecting a net downward revision of 167,000 jobs.

The stronger than expected job growth in February partly reflected a significant increase in employment in the healthcare and social assistance sector, which added 90,700 jobs.

The leisure and hospitality and government sectors also saw notable job growth, while employment in the transportation and warehousing and retail sectors also rose.

The report also said the unemployment rate climbed to 3.9 percent in February from 3.7 percent in January. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to come in unchanged.

The unexpected increase by the unemployment rate came as the household survey measure of employment slumped by 184,000 persons, while the labor force grew by 150,000 persons.

"We think today's report is a positive for the soft landing scenario," said Larry Tentarelli, Chief Technical Strategist, Blue Chip Daily Trend Report. "The jobs market is still strong, but the downward revisions and higher than forecast unemployment rate is an offset."

"The economy continues to hold up very well, with a strong jobs market and strong GDP," he added. "The Fed is able to take a wait-and-see approach to rate cuts here, as there has been no material economic weakness. Incoming jobs data and economic data will be a key determining factor."

The Labor Department also said average hourly employee earnings inched up by $0.05 or 0.1 percent to $34.57 in February.

Meanwhile, the annual rate of wage growth slowed to 4.3 percent in February from a downwardly revised 4.4 percent in January.

Economists had expected wage growth to slow to 4.4 percent from the 4.5 percent originally reported for the previous month.

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