The better than expected jobs numbers
America’s labor market might not be as great yet as President Donald Trump wants, but by almost any measure, it’s getting better.Predictions by liberal economists appear to have been way off not only on the jobs figure but also their market numbers. I think part of the boost came from small business expansion as a result of optimism based on Trump policies and deregulation efforts. The Obama control freak regulations have been a drag on the economy for some time.
Employers added an above-forecast 235,000 positions in February, while measures of joblessness and underemployment improved, the Labor Department’s monthly report showed on Friday. Wage growth picked up and the share of prime-age Americans in the labor force rose to the highest since 2011, suggesting the economy’s strength is drawing people off the sidelines.
While some of last month’s labor-market gains can be chalked up to unseasonably warm weather, particularly in construction, the figures are still solid and effectively seal a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase next week. Analysts expect wage gains to gradually accelerate further, which will underpin consumer spending, the principal driver of economic growth, amid a first quarter that’s looking tepid.
“If you dig a bit deeper, there are three strong reasons for optimism: in the weather-adjusted data, in the wage growth and in the unemployment and participation rate,” said Gregory Daco, head of U.S. macroeconomics at Oxford Economics in New York.
Daco estimated that “weather-sensitive sectors” added about 75,000 jobs in February. Construction jobs rose by 58,000, the strongest gain in almost a decade, and followed a 40,000 increase in January.