Hiring Plunges to 20000 as Wage Gains Top Estimates

Coal miners attend a Make America Great Again rally at the Civic Center in Charleston West Virginia U.S

Coal miners attend a Make America Great Again rally at the Civic Center in Charleston West Virginia U.S

The U.S. economy added only 20,000 jobs - far fewer than expected - last month, the Labor Department said Friday.

"The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that MA had the highest employment to population gains of any state in 2018", Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said in a news release.

The unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.8 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Economic analysts offered a range of reactions to news of the weak job-creation numbers.

The data present a mixed bag for the Federal Reserve, which has said it will hold off on additional rate increases amid signs economic growth is moderating and the absence of inflation.

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

In February, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.3 million and accounted for 20.4% of the unemployed. The industries that added jobs included healthcare and professional services, the agency noted.

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USA hiring was the weakest in more than a year while wage gains were the fastest of the expansion and the unemployment rate fell, a possible sign that America's jobs engine is starting to slow down.

US stocks fell as the employment report added to concerns of softening global growth sparked by weak China export data and a prolonged slowdown in eurozone.

Hiring growth slowed sharply in February, a sign that weakening global economic growth could be touching the USA economy, though strong wage growth and robust job gains in earlier months suggest the US still has significant momentum. But the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent from January's 4 percent, and earnings growth picked up. "The year-over-year average hourly earnings growth surpassing 3.0 per cent for the seventh straight month is good news for America's workers", he added.

February's jobs gains were the smallest since September 2017. Wages continued to gain ground, increasing by 11 cents following a two-cent growth in January.

The decline in the unemployment rate may seem contradictory to the weak job creation, but the figure is derived from a different survey and reflects a shrinking labor force.

The company has taken other steps, she said: Jobs at the distribution center, located outside Milwaukee, don't require high school diplomas and have been plagued by high turnover. The manufacturing sector followed with the addition of 600 net jobs.

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