Nonfarm employers added a seasonally adjusted 235,000 jobs in February, above economists’ expectations for a 197,000 gain. Employers added a revised 238,000 in January for the best back-to-back performance since June and July 2016. One area of strength those two months: construction jobs. Over the past three months, total job growth has averaged 209,000. That shows an acceleration from the 179,000 average pace in September through November. Revisions to December and January’s figures added a net 9,000 jobs to payroll figures.
The jobless rate in February was 4.7%, moving down from January and matching economists’ expectations. The unemployment rate has held consistently below 5% since April. That suggests the economy is at or near full employment, an important consideration for Fed policy makers. In December, central bankers said the unemployment rate in the long run should sit in the 4.5% to 5% range, with a median longer-run projection of 4.8%. They’ll release fresh projections next week.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) March 10, 2017