A total of 227k net jobs were created in Feb, 233k of which were in the private sector, both a touch better than estimates of 210k and 225k respectively. Net revisions were upward by 61k. The household survey said 428k jobs were added but because that was about matched by a 476k increase in the size of the labor force, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.3%. The U6 rate fell to 14.9% from 15.1%. The average workweek was unchanged at 34.5. The participation rate was 63.9% vs 63.7% in Jan and 64.0% in Dec. The average duration of unemployment was little changed. Average hourly earnings were the main disappointment as it rose just .1% m/o/m and 1.9% y/o/y, remaining below the rate of inflation and hurting the standard of living of many. Manufacturing added 31k jobs, 7k more than expected but construction shed 13k jobs. Temp jobs rose by a large 45k up from 32k in Jan. Overall, the federal, state and local governments cut jobs on a net basis by a modest 6k. Bottom line, the job gains were good not great with the 12 month average now at 168k. In terms of the Fed and their FOMC meeting next week, nothing in the data deserves more easing and the Fed will believe there is not enough strength to take their foot pedal off the floor.
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