The American economy added 175,000 jobs in February which is higher than the goal of 149,000 set by Wall Street economists. However, the numbers on actually hiring were a little less impressive.
With all the new jobs, the unemployment rate still rose .1% to rest at 6.7% for February. That’s 10.5 million people if you’re counting.
What’s the cause of the uptick in unemployment? The severe weather experienced around the nation this winter has been one possibility tossed around at some pretty heated debates among economists and traders, according to the New York Times. However, the uptick can also be attributed to optimistic unemployed people returning to the job search market.
In fact, some involved in the debate will not even consider the numbers for February “clean data”. Those will wait for the weather to clear and look forward to the numbers from March and April for a more accurate account of how things really look for the U.S. economy.
February’s report was difficult to predict because other surveys have offered contradictory signs about the labor market this week, such as the private sector adding 162,000 jobs, and the public sector adding 13,000.
Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said before February’s numbers were announced, “We are braced for just about anything tomorrow. Mixed payroll signals and unpredictable seasonals make tomorrow’s number a very tough call.”
February’s numbers for some people undoubtedly create a bright outlook after previous uninspiring reports. December saw the economy only adding 75,000 jobs. January was a little better with 129,000 jobs added, but both fell short of the hopes presented by Wall Street. With the announcement, the blow was softened by about 25,000 as the jobs numbers for January and February were revised, according to AFP.
However, the optimistic numbers for February are still down from last year’s average of 190,000 added jobs.
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