Report | United States Employment Update - February 2016
The labor market recorded a soft opening to 2016, adding only 151,000 new jobs, although unemployment fell below 5.0 percent for the first time since 2008 and currently rests at 4.9 percent. Pullbacks in temporary help services and education led to minimal growth in professional and business services (PBS) and the education and health sectors, which typically drive the largest absolute growth in the economy. On the other hand, bright spots include sustained wage growth of 2.5 percent, metro areas with employment growth surpassing 3.0 percent regularly and minimal inflation that should lead to greater disposable income, although this has yet to translate to improved performance in the personal consumption expenditures component of GDP, which grew by 1.5 percent at annual rates in Q4 2015. Heading into 2016, instability in resource-based markets and a strengthening dollar may have significant impacts on much of the labor market's continued growth, particularly in manufacturing and trade.
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