Feb Payrolls rose by 192k, 4k less than expected but private sector job gains totaled 222k, 22k above forecasts. To smooth the influence of bad weather in Jan, payrolls averaged 128k over the two months and 145k in the private sector. It’s certainly an improvement but still lackluster at this stage of an economic rebound. The unemployment rate ticked down by .1% to 8.9% encouragingly led by a 250k increase in the household survey while the labor force rose by 60k after the sharp decline over the past 2 months. The all in U6 rate fell .2% to 15.9%. Average hourly earnings disappointingly was flat vs an expected .2% gain and is up just 1.7% y/o/y. Earnings must improve faster so the average American can deal with the ever rising cost of living. Manufacturing added jobs for a 4th month. Bottom line, job growth continues but the pace needs to pick up at a faster rate and remains below where it should considering the sharp declines seen in ’08-’09
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