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United States Unemployment February 2024

United States: Job gains beat market expectations in February

Total non-farm payrolls grew by 275,000 in February, up from January’s 229,000 gain and beating market expectations. Job gains occurred in health care, in government, in food services and drinking places, in social assistance, and in transportation and warehousing. The unemployment rate rose to 3.9% in February from 3.7% in January, while annual wage growth dipped from 4.4% to 4.3%.

All in all, the February figures show that the labor market remained in good shape midway through Q1 2024—though not quite as hot as last month’s data suggested, as job gains for December and January were revised down by around a quarter.

On the reading, Desjardins’ Francis Généreux said:

“Once again, the resilience of the US economy and the strength of its job market delivered an upside surprise. That said, the sunny picture painted by the February print was somewhat clouded by downward revisions of the preceding months’ data. The 353,000 jobs first announced for January were downgraded to ‘only’ 229,000, while December gains went down from 333,000 to 290,000. That said, the revised numbers are still very strong and remain above the consensus forecast prior to their initial release.”

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