What’s going on:
In February, employers added a seasonally adjusted 311,000 jobs, which is less than January’s increase of 504,000 jobs, but still very impressive.
This news was reported on Friday by the Labor Department, who also noted that the unemployment rate rose to 3.6%, a slight increase from January’s record low of 3.4%, which had been the lowest in the last 53 years, according to The New York Times.
Why it matters:
Economists anticipated job growth of 205,000, and have said that the economy must generate an average of 100,000 jobs each month to maintain its growth rate with the growth in the working-age population.
This week’s data pointed to a healthy job market with 1.9 job openings per unemployed person in January, while the Fed’s Beige Book report suggested the labor market was still “solid” in February.
There were scattered reports of layoffs, and the difficulty of locating workers with the right skills or experience was cited.
Overall, households felt positively about the labor market last month.
How it’ll impact the future:
Despite numerous high-profile layoffs in the tech industry, the labor market has held strong, and first-time applications for unemployment benefits remain at incredibly low levels.