This came as a shock to many! The manufacturing sector also added 31,000 jobs, while retail employment rebounded from declines previous year. That is quite a turnaround from the sluggish job growth experienced in 2016, and it is a sign that that firms have continued to accelerate their hiring as the economic outlook has strengthened and demand and production have improved considerably. Why the commitment to raising rates when wage growth is restrained, inflation remains low, and - this is key - there are still enough potential workers out there to allow for more than 300,000 new jobs in a single month?
At the same time, the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, which was higher than expectations with forecasts calling for a drop to 4.0%. The popular ADP analysis had estimated that only 235,000 new nonfarm jobs were added in February - a decrease from January's revised number of 244,000 added jobs. Hiring picked up at retailers, manufacturers and local governments, including schools. Even with the job decrease in non-durable goods, employment rates are steadily increasing in the manufacturing industry.
"We've seen the labor force participation rate go sideways now for four straight years, and that is actually a big gain against what is a downward trend due to aging and other things", Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told members of Congress last week. Financial jobs climbed by 28,000 and health care by 9,000. Those types of companies have said the tariffs will help grow their business, which should mean more jobs.
Industry employment for the most part has increased steadily the last year-and-a-half, thanks in large part to the uptick in drilling activity in hot shale plays like the Permian.
United States issues travel alert for Playa del Carmen
However, on Thursday, Mexican officials insisted that Playa del Carmen is safe despite the USA security alert . Last week four gunmen burst into a hospital in Cancun and shot to death a drug gang suspect and his wife.
As for the jobless rate of black Americans - a statistic that President Trump has referred to often in recent months - after a sharp increase in January, that rate took a big step in the right direction in February, just off the all-time low set in December.
Analysts have also said no one should call this economy a late cycle.
The February jobs report beat expectations, boosting markets and confirming that the USA economy remains strong. "It is stronger than expected and there were broad gains across most retail sectors".
February was the strongest month for USA job growth since July of 2016, when the nation's economy added 325,000 jobs. January's figure was revised to 239,000 from 200,000 previously and December was pegged at 175,000, up from 160,000.