The Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday that the U.S. economy added a strong 678,000 jobs in February. The report showed stronger-than-expected growth in several sectors, including leisure and hospitality, health care, and construction
The unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, which is the lowest it has been since the pandemic began. Both the number of people working and the number of people who are employed also went up. 2022-2023 Canada Here you can study, work, and stay. Apply online now Canada is now a dream place for international students to go to school and build a better future.
Wages, on the other hand, barely changed. The average hourly wage went up by just one cent, to $31.58. Even though it’s too early to say for sure, the slow wage growth could be because more people are going back to work. This could make it harder for wages to go up.
Here are some of the thoughts on the report:
Pandemic getting better: “Covid is losing its hold; the virus was in charge because of fear, but that fear is fading.” You can see this all over the country, where people are now willing to go back to jobs they didn’t want to do during the pandemic. —Austan Goolsbee, who was the head of the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Rapid growth: “We added 678,000 jobs in February, bringing the total since the end of 2020 to 7.9 million.” It’s crazy how fast and steady the growth is—well over half a million jobs have been added each month on average for more than a year. The Economic Policy Institute’s Heidi Shierholz.
A win for fiscal policy: “We are on track to get back on our feet EIGHT YEARS faster than we did after the Great Recession.” Why is this recovery so fast when other recoveries in the past have been so slow? CARES and ARPA are to blame for that.” Shierholz said again that the fast recovery was due to the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act. (See the chart below from Bill McBride of Calculated Risk to get a sense of both how bad the first recession was and how quickly jobs came back.)
But there is still a long way to go: “Overall, the economy is still 3.5 million jobs and 1.4 million workers short compared to pre-pandemic projections (adjusted for slower than expected population growth), as labor supply continues to fall short of labor demand.” – Jason Furman, who also led the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Another green light for the Fed: “This report is likely to back up recent comments from Federal Reserve officials that they still plan to raise rates at their next meeting in March, even though the situation in Ukraine has caused market volatility.” – Mike Fratantoni, the chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Strong growth should keep going: “The job market is still very hot. It seems like the job market is still set up for a lot of strong job growth.” – Nick Bunker, who works at Indeed as an economist.
But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could change things: “Should that conflict lead to the removal of the 6 million barrels of oil per day that Russia exports from the global markets—which we think is only days away—with a corresponding rise in oil prices, it is only a matter of time before there is a material change in the pace and composition of hiring in the American labor market.” – Joseph Brusuelas, the chief economist at the consulting firm RSM.
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