Some highlights from the details of this NFP report:
The average work week surprsingly fell -0.1 to 33.7 hours — that hardly indicates a tight labor market; Also noteworthy: overtime ticked up, revealing a (let’s call it) "reluctance" to hire.
The Labor Force Participation Rate was unchanged at 66.1%, despite the civilian labor force growing by 335,000 people. Joanie notes that "the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.8%, as we are not creating enough jobs to absorb new/re-entrants into the labor force" (Otherwise, unemployment would have been flat m/m).
The jobs primarily came from Construction, Mining and service-providing industries: Retail Employment was flat, Food and Drinking scored +23k. Construction added 41k (sub-contractors were 32k of that), Mining added 5k, primarily support activity for oil and gas. Education and Health services added 47k.
Bottom line, a fair report. Not terrible, but not great.
UPDATE March 10, 2006 11:30am
Tony Crescenzi observes that Fed Futures is pricing in:
100% odds that the funds rate will be raised to 4.75% at the March 27-28 FOMC meeting, and a 95% odds that it will be raised to 5.0% at the May 10 meeting. For the June 29 FOMC meeting, the market is priced for a 24% odds of a hike to 5.25%, up from 10% Thursday and 0% a week ago.