Jobs Added in February

Stocks Waver as Trump Unveils Tariffs

Stocks Waver as Trump Unveils Tariffs

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate for January remained unchanged from December 2017, sticking at 4.8 percent, according to figures released Friday by the state Department of Labor & Industry.

The U.S. added a hefty 313,000 jobs in February - the biggest increase in 1 1/2 years - while wages rose more modestly than the previous month. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, unchanged for the fifth straight month.

Key Takeaways: Manufacturing employment rose by a whopping 31,000 in February, with the sector continuing to add net new jobs at a solid pace and with average weekly earnings for production workers up 3.8 percent year-over-year.

Despite all this, average hourly earnings actually came in below expectations, posting an increase of only 0.1%, with the year-on-year figure three-tenths below the consensus at 2.6%. The average workweek for all private employees increased to 34.5 hours, from 34.4 hours.

Wall Street has been particularly focused on wage growth as an indicator of which story is more compelling - and more to the point, which story the Fed chairman Jerome Powell and his colleagues at the Fed will find more persuasive.

Job creation numbers for January and December were revised higher. In the last four-month period, construction has witnessed an addition of 185,000 jobs.

Tarriff announcements send stocks lower
Gold dropped $12.70 to $1,305.20 an ounce, silver lost 13 cents to $16.28 per ounce and copper lost 1 cent to $3.12 per pound. Since the stock market's correction earlier this month, the Dow and S&P 500 have clawed back more than half of their losses.

The report signaled the labor market remains strong and will keep driving economic growth. Markets were expecting to see an increase of 0.2%.

The pickup in wage growth last month helped trigger the stock market's first correction, or drop of more than 10%, in two years, as investors became concerned that a heating economy would prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than expected.

The unemployment rate for February was 4.1 percent, an 18-year low.

Wall Street reacted positively to the job numbers, with stocks up almost 1 percent this morning. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.8 percent), teenagers (14.4 percent), Asians (2.9percent), Hispanics (4.9 percent) and whites (3.7 percent) stayed about the same.

Retail industry employment increased by 46,400 jobs in February over January, the National Retail Federation said today.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate remained stable in January, even as employment and payrolls crept down slightly. There were declines totaling 5,400 jobs spread across health and personal care, sporting goods and miscellaneous stores.

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