Strong employment report

U.S. Employers Added a Solid 311,000 Jobs in February

Jobs report shows unemployment rate rises to 3.6%; payrolls gain marks cooling from hot start to the year

By Sarah Chaney Cambon, The Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2023

Employers added a seasonally adjusted 311,000 jobs last month, a cooler but still strong increase following a revised 504,000 gain in January, the Labor Department reported Friday. The unemployment rate rose to 3.6% last month from January’s 3.4%, the lowest rate in 53 years…

There are signs that strong hiring could continue. Employers had 10.8 million open jobs in January, down slightly from 11.2 million in December. The totals are nearly double the number of unemployed people seeking work and still far above prepandemic levels…[end quote]

Employment Situation Summary, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 311,000 in February, and the unemployment rate edged up to 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, government, and health care.
Employment declined in information and in transportation and warehousing.

Household Survey Data

Both the unemployment rate, at 3.6 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 5.9 million, edged up in February. These measures have shown little net movement since early 2022.

In February, the labor force participation rate was little changed at 62.5 percent, and
the employment-population ratio held at 60.2 percent. These measures have shown little net change since early 2022 and remain below their pre-pandemic February 2020 levels (63.3 percent and 61.1 percent, respectively). [end quote]

The Household Survey is important because the top-line Establishment Survey can double-count workers who have more than one job.

There was little change in the Household Survey despite the Federal Reserve’s campaign to reduce inflation by raising the fed funds rate.

A strong employment report like this means that the Fed will certainly raise the fed funds rate later this month. They might even raise it 0.5% instead of 0.25%, especially if the inflation report in a couple of weeks is higher than expected.


I believe the next Fed meeting is in a week, while the next unemployment report isn’t due ‘til the first week of April. So they’ll be guessing, based on what’s out there now, I think.

The next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is March 15-16. February 2023 CPI data are scheduled to be released on March 14, 2023. So they will have February employment and CPI data, fresh off the press.

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After today the FED might be running stress tests on the major US banks.

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