Why the February jobs report is far, far better than it looks

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Why the February jobs report is far, far better than it looks
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says 175,000 new jobs were added in February, well above Wall Street's consensus estimate of 149,000.

162,000 of those hires were to private payrolls, while government took on 13,000 new employees.

However, the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent, underlining the difficult task that the country faces in getting jobless Americans back to work.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The huge story, though, is that this stronger job growth (compared, at least, to December and January) came in spite of a mammoth 601,000 employed workers being out of work due to the weather. That number was far higher than the 273,000 out of work in December due to the weather, and the 262,000 in January. Had the number of people out of work in February due to the weather been comparable to the January and December ones, we would have seen job growth of closer to 500,000 this month!

This means that the Federal Reserve will not feel pressure to delay tapering its quantitative easing programs further. The economic recovery is starting to look stronger and more secure.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us