The US economy has generated over 148,000 jobs in December 2017. This is actually fewer than expected, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate stayed at 4.1%. This was a 17-year low that supports the Federal Reserve's statement that the economy is near full employment. The black unemployment rate went down hard to a record low of 6.8%. There was a plunge in retail jobs, by 20,300, which weighed on the labor market as brick-and-mortar stores continued to close.
However though, December was the 87th month straight in which employers hired more people than they fired. This ended up extending the longest stretch of job growth on record. The economy generated over 2.06 million jobs last year. Economists had forecast that 190,000 net nonfarm payrolls were added in December, according to Bloomberg.
Job creation exhibited another powerful month in February. Companies Were adding 235,000 positions, ADP and Moody's Analytics reported Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Once again, the total defied Wall Street expectations, as economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting payrolls to grow by 195,000. Growth actually decelerated slightly, as January posted an upwardly revised 244,000 from the initially reported 234,000.
February marked the fourth month in a row that private payrolls hit 200,000 or better, it was also when broad-based gains were seen which stretched across both the services and goods-producing sectors.
Leisure and hospitality led industry groups with 50,000 jobs, while professional and business services contributed 46,000 and trade, transportation and utilities added 44,000, however, construction rose 21,000 and manufacturing notched 14,000 new positions. Industries that produce goods went up by 37,000 while all services-related businesses increased 198,000.
The gains were spread again in terms of business size: Medium-sized firms led with 97,000 while large businesses and small firms followed with 70,000 and 68,000 contributions respectively. The gains came with concerns that a tight jobs market could put upward pressure on wages and generate an inflation spike. That could possibly force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates quicker than the anticipations of the market.
Monthly job reports, however, continue to challenge the expectations that payroll growth is destined to slow down as the unemployment rate, which is currently at 4.1 percent, crawls closer to the level that economists generally consider full employment.
Robert Kaplan, which is the Dallas Fed President, mentioned to CNBC on Tuesday that the central bank is going to need to push a hike three times this year to keep the economic expansion running.
Last month's government count unveiled that the average hourly earnings went up at quicker than in over than eight years.This ended up fueling more worries about inflation and briefly sending the stock market into a correction. Economists are wishing for Friday's report to at least show growth of about 200,000 new jobs.