The Labor Department’s February jobs report showed strong signs of jobs growth.
“It’s a very strong report,” said Bob Baur, chief global economist at Principal Global Investors, an asset management company. “I could hardly find anything not like in it.”
While the unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent, it also showed strong job growth. The unemployment rate could remain steady for a while because a number of unemployed people who had given up looking for a job have started looking again.
The Labor Department’s report Friday showed that 227,000 jobs were added to the economy in February. Economists were expecting February job growth of 210,000.
The Labor Department also reported that December and January were even stronger than first estimated. While already two of the best months for jobs since the recession, 41,000 jobs were added to the total for January and 20,000 jobs were added for December.
The country has added a total 734,000 jobs since the beginning of December, according to the report. What was especially promising about the February jobs report is that it showed breadth.
Hiring was broad-based and improved in both high paying and low-paying industries. More jobs were added in manufacturing, mining and professional services.
The report indicated that jobs growth should continue to get strong because most of the jobs were in the private sector and government is cutting fewer jobs. Federal, state and local government cut 6,000 jobs in February compared to last year when government an average of 22,000 jobs a month.
Another economics indicator that the economy is improving is that the number of people who are working part-time but would rather work full time fell to 14.9 percent, the lowest in three years.
In February the average hourly pay increased modestly by 3 cents to $23.31.
The president gets the blame when the economy is bad. In this case President Obama should get the credit for an economy that is beginning to show strong signs of recovery from the worse economic downturn since the Great Depression.