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America’s red-hot labor market added 275,000 jobs in February – slashing chances of an imminent interest rate cut

  • Despite high interest rates, a resilient economy created more jobs than expected

The US added about 275,000 jobs in February as workforce growth continues.

The number was nearly 100,000 higher than economists expected and complicates the Federal Reserve’s decision on when to cut rates.

Unemployment rose 0.2 percent to 3.9 percent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. While this is an increase, overall it is still the lowest level since the late 1960s.

Sectors that saw the most job growth were healthcare, government, food and beverage services, social assistance, and transportation and warehousing.

About 100,000 jobs per month are needed to keep up with the growth of the working-age population.

The US added about 275,000 jobs in February as workforce growth continues

The more jobs are created and the lower the unemployment rate, the more hesitant the Fed will be to finally lower record high interest rates.

More workers mean more money circulating through the economy, making it harder to curb inflation.

Despite a wave of layoffs at the start of the year, employers are generally retaining workers after struggling to find workers during the pandemic.

Although labor supply and demand have returned to equilibrium, some sectors of the economy remain desperate for skilled workers.

‘Although it was a close call, unemployment has now been below 4 percent for 25 months in a row. That’s the longest stretch since the late 1960s,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.