Washington, March 10. The unemployment rate in the United States rose by two ticks in February and stood at 3.6%, according to data released this Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In the second month of the year, 311,000 jobs were created, 206,000 less than those created in January, at a time when the Federal Reserve is watching closely the effects of interest rate hikes – approved to reduce l inflation – on economic developments and more particularly on the labor market.
This rise in rates comes after three consecutive months of falling unemployment and could reflect the start of an easing in the labor market that the Fed anticipates following its monetary tightening policy.
Based on this figure, and the February inflation which will be known next week, the Federal Reserve will decide the amount of the next rate hike it will announce at the end of the next meeting of its Open Market Committee. , which will be held between March 21 and 22.
While still a strong number, the 311,000 jobs created is well below the more than half a million (517,000) created in January, and also below the average job creation in 2022. (401,000).
The number of unemployed thus stands at 5.9 million, in a month in which there were “notable increases” in job creations in the leisure and hotel industry, retail trade, government and health. However, jobs have been lost in the transportation, warehousing and information sectors.
The BLS also revised last year’s figures and noted that the total nonfarm employment level for March 2022 had been revised upward by 568,000, meaning that half a million additional jobs were created last year compared to what was counted.
According to data released today, the average hourly wage of all salaried employees in the non-farm private sector rose 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $33.03 per day in January. Year over year, average hourly earnings rose 4.4%.
These data are published in a delicate economic context, when all eyes are on the possible consequences of a rise in rates on the American labor market.
Last month, the Federal Reserve announced its eighth consecutive hike and they are now in a range between 4.5% and 4.75%, the highest figure in sixteen years.
The Fed warned that while job creation remains one of the regulator’s key mandates, the labor market is likely to suffer in the coming months. EFE
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