New economic figures released on March 4, 2016, indicate there were 242,000 new jobs added in the U.S. in February. According to NBC News, the unemployment rate remains at 4.9 percent. The increase in jobs is greater than predictions made by economists, the forecast was for 190,000 with no changes in unemployment figures.
ABC News reports, the U.S. Department of Labor revised its estimates of job growth in December and January, stating that in the last three months, there have been 228,000 jobs added by employers. After an increase in wages in January, there was a slight dip in February. However, more Americans were able to enter the workforce last month.
The forecast for the upcoming months indicates that employers are expecting a greater consumer demand. This is in spite of the stock market’s turbulence, a decrease in the energy jobs due to a drop in oil prices, and a decrease in exports due to the increased strength of the U.S. dollar.
Employment increases for last month were seen in retail, with 54,900 jobs added, there were slightly over 38,000 positions added in the health care field, and the restaurant/bar industry added over 40,000 jobs. In fact, there has been a rise in consumer confidence, as seen in the restaurant industry, which over the last year has risen over six percent.
Also reported was the Federal Reserve optimism that the increase in wages may support another increase in the interest rate. December 2015 saw the U.S. central bank enacting a one-quarter percent hike, which was the first in nine years.
By Cathy Milne
NBC News: U.S. Economy Adds 242,000 Jobs in February; Unemployment Rate Holds Steady
ABC News: US Adds a Strong 242,000 Jobs; Rate Holds at Low 4.9 Pct.
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