U.S. unemployment rate falls to 3.8% in February; job growth slows sharply

Oscar PerryMar 11, 2019

The 20,000 gain was the lowest since September 2017, a month marked by the impact of several major hurricanes.

In statements to reporters, Trump said the most important aspect of the February jobs report is wage growth.

The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percent to 3.8 percent, the lowest level since October 2018 (and before that, April 2000).

From January of 2018 to January of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that MA added 27,200 jobs.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, decreased slightly from 3.9 percent to 3.8 percent.

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In February, the department said, the average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose by 11 cents to 27.66 US dollars, following a 2-cent gain in January. Retail jobs fell by 6,100, while education and health services posted a meagre gain of 4,000 and leisure and hospitality payrolls were unchanged.

Professional and business services employment increased by 42,000 jobs in February.

They also reflected a decline in hiring by retailers and utility companies as well as the transportation and warehousing sector, which is experiencing a shortage of drivers. However, the number is still behind the national average and neighboring MA (both at 1.8 percent for the year).

According to CNBC, economists had been expecting a wage increase of 3.2 percent. It will be harder than usual, though, to get a precise read on the economy because many data reports are still delayed by the partial shutdown of the government, which ended January 25. February's jobs numbers signal that one might be beginning to hit the USA after a strong year of growth in 2019. The number of job ads on its site that offer to pay for training, she said, jumped 42 percent a year ago from 2017.

The U.S. economy added only 20,000 jobs - far less than expected - last month, the Labor Department said Friday. Health care added 21,000 jobs and wholesale trade added 11,000 positions. Government payrolls dropped by 5,000 jobs last month, pulled down by declines both local and state government education. Analysts have suggested that government shutdown and stock market sell-off have adversely impacted February jobs and customer spending, with Americans spending the least in December than they ever did in the last five years. Economists have been looking for signs that wages are growing more given the low unemployment rate and employers finding it hard to fill positions.

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