US jobs surge 313,000 in February, highest in 1.5 years

WION Web Team Washington, DC, USA Mar 09, 2018, 03.04 PM(IST)

Representative image. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Robust hiring in construction, retail and manufacturing contributed to the increase in jobs

The US added 313,000 net new non-farm jobs in February which is more than any month since July 2016, the government reported on Friday.

Robust hiring in construction, retail and manufacturing contributed to the increase in jobs.

The goods-producing sector, including mining, manufacturing and the auto sector, added 100,000 new positions while the private services sector added 187,00 jobs. The public sector added 26,000, jobs with increased hirings in education and at the state government level.

The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 per cent for the fifth month in a row, the Labor Department said in its highly-anticipated monthly report.

Moreover, the job gains in December and January were revised to 54,000, bringing the average monthly job creation to a strong 242,000 a month for the latest three months, the Labor department added.

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

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

The results are a shot in the arm for US President Donald Trump as his support for his "America First" economic agenda appeared to be on shaky ground.

(With inputs from AFP)