Healthcare adds 19k jobs in February; hospitals continue to drive growth

Healthcare adds 19k jobs in February; hospitals continue to drive growth

At the same time, his tariffs on steel and aluminum imports may become a headwind depending on how extensively they're implemented and how other nations retaliate.

On Twitter, the president expressed elation. Health-care added 19,000 while mining saw 9,000 new jobs. White unemployment was 3.7 percent. Data for December and January were revised to show the economy creating 54,000 more jobs than previously reported.

The unemployment rate held steady for the fifth straight month at 4.1 percent, an 18-year low. The average over the year shows an hourly increase of 68 cents.

"It's a great report across the board and I think that moves markets higher".

February witnessed 61,000 additions of jobs in construction sector as gains from specialty trade contractors were 38,000 and that from construction of buildings were 16,000. Government employment was up by 26,000.

Economists had said that January's wage gains might have been a one-time jump, fueled by increases in the minimum wage that kicked in at the start of the year in several states, as well as raises spurred by the tax cuts enacted at the end of 2017.

Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said there was both good news and bad news on the wages front.

As a result, over the past four months, "employment in these industries has changed little on net", William Wiatrowski, acting commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said in a statement. The February bounty suggests there are still enough underemployed folks out there to ensure that companies, industries, and indeed the entire economy can continue expanding.

Still economists said the report does not fuel fears of runaway inflation. "Three percent wage inflation and 3% on the 10-year would be a bad combo for stocks", says Paulsen. Wall Street has feasted on cheap borrowing costs, low inflation and tepid growth since the financial crisis.

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicted the positive job report would likely influence the Federal Reserve's decision later this month to raise rates, thus setting in motion an uptick in mortgage rates that could affect housing affordability this year. However, faster economic growth could lead to the acceleration of the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes.

Over the next year, "we should expect longer-term wage growth with the unemployment rate as low as it is", said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at, a financial services firm in NY.

"If they can't afford childcare, they're not going to work", she said. A more market-friendly annual pace of hourly pay growth would be 2.8% or 2.7%, he adds.



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