U.S. Economy Loses Steam, Adding Only 20000 Jobs Last Month

Gladys Abbott
March 10, 2019

The figures also will be revised.

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

Job creation ground to a virtual halt in the United States last month as employers in a range of industries began to shed workers-but the unemployment rate fell, the U.S. government said yesterday.

Construction and retail jobs dropped sharply, which might have been affected in part by the cold weather.

The state Department of Labor (DOL) said Friday that an annual revision conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that CT only added about 10,000 jobs past year, or almost half of what was originally estimated. Economists have been projecting that wages would increase as employers jockey to hire employees. Retailers cut 6,100. Job growth in a category that includes mostly restaurants and hotels were unchanged last month after a huge 89,000 gain in January.

January's job growth was revised up to 311,000 from 304,000 and December was revised up to 227,000 from 220,000.

"I think you'll probably find out it averages out".

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The unemployment rate fell despite the tepid pace of hiring. "I think the big news really was that wages went up and that's great for the American worker". The monthly employment data can be volatile. CT has recovered just 84 percent of lost jobs and must gain another 19,300 to meet pre-recession levels, he said.

The hiring slowdown may weigh on first-quarter GDP calculations, threatening to take the shine off the economy's in the first quarter. "The fact that our labor force grew a year ago by 109,500 shows that even with such a low unemployment rate, MA continues to attract additional workers into our labor pool to help grow our economy".

United States employment has now risen for 100 consecutive months, the longest jobs-expansion streak on record.

Trailing sectors were leisure and hospitality (500 new jobs), education and health services (400) and information (300).

The 94 percent drop in total net new hiring was the biggest since August 2010.

While unemployment declined from 4 percent to 3.8 percent and employment in wholesale trade, professional and business services, and health care trended upward in February, construction jobs declined by 31,000, a possibly worrisome sign.

And February's increase in average pay suggests that businesses are stepping up their efforts to attract and keep workers.

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