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US Adds Just 20K Jobs; Unemployment Dips To 3.8 pct.

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According to AP agency, hiring tumbled in February, with U.S. employers adding just 20,000 jobs, the smallest monthly gain in nearly a year and a half. The slowdown in hiring, though, might have been depressed by harsh winter weather and the partial shutdown of the government. Last month’s weak gain came after employers had added a blockbuster 311,000 jobs in January, the most in nearly a year. Over the past three months, job growth has averaged a solid 186,000, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. And despite the tepid pace of hiring in February, the government’s monthly jobs report Friday included some positive signs: Average hourly pay last month rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier — the sharpest year-over-year increase in a decade. The unemployment rate also fell to 3.8 percent, near the lowest level in five decades, from 4 percent in January. Unseasonably cold weather, which affects such industries as construction and restaurants, afflicted some areas of the country in February. And the 35-day government shutdown that ended in late January likely affected the calculation of job growth. Still, the hiring pullback comes amid signs that growth is slowing because of a weaker global economy, a trade war between the United States and China and signs of caution among consumers. Those factors have led many economists to forecast weaker growth in the first three months of this year. Sluggish hiring and job cuts in February were widespread across industries. Construction cut 31,000 jobs, the most in more than five years. Manufacturing added just 4,000 jobs. Retailers cut 6,100. Job growth in a category that includes mostly restaurants and hotels were unchanged last month after adding a huge 89,000 gain in January.

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 The same thing for the last 2 years. Trade War, global growth slowing, a recession could be on the horizon... I've heard it every day for 800 days now. Eventually, they will be right.

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 Q1 is always an enigma, by the time Q2 & Q3 arrive people will be buying homes & going on vacations.

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Won’t be perfect all the time, but still hiring.

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Bad headline. Hiring tumbled? 20,000 jobs? Were 20,000 people put to work or the work force lost 20k jobs. If we put 20k new individuals to work that’s a plus....

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Not many jobs created, but unemployment went down. That is odd, but hopeful. As for the type of jobs being created: best time to look for a better job is when you have one. 

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I prefer employment rates to unemployment rates

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/employment-rate

The country is still in recovery from the great recession. 

The reason employment rates are higher than, say the 60s, far more women in the workforce. And for many families both have to work to get by. Hard to compare then to now. 

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Granted 20k isn't great. Keep it in perspective. US has lowest unemployment rate in 50 years.

Some more nuggets from jobs report. Wage growth is increasing although hours worked is the same as January.

December and January payrolls were revised upwards to 5k and 7k.

The number of people working part-time dropped by 800k from January suggesting they were successful finding full time work since unemployment dropped.

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6 hours ago, John Foote said:

I prefer employment rates to unemployment rates

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/employment-rate

The country is still in recovery from the great recession. 

The reason employment rates are higher than, say the 60s, far more women in the workforce. And for many families both have to work to get by. Hard to compare then to now. 

Excellent point! Many of the jobs that required brute force are now gone. We have far more machinery, robots, and better tools to do hand labor. Many women are now in fair competition with men for jobs they were not previously considered for. The result is that we have a smarter, larger and better trained workforce. 

Most women want children, which is as it should be. Those who choose to stay home to raise them are working at a very important occupation. They should be praised. They will generally forego an early start at another career. Their materialistic status may suffer but the world will be better off because of them. 

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