OK, so this is finally some rockin’ good news on the jobs front. The Labor Department is out with its key employment situation for the month of February. Due to the way the calendar fell, this is a week later than usual. The official unemployment rate fell more than expected to 7.7%, versus January’s rate of 7.9%. Bloomberg was looking for 7.8%, with a range of 7.7% to 7.9%. Even if there was a dropout factor in the labor force, the numbers look good universally.
The nonfarm payrolls rose much more than expected by 236,000 in February. The consensus was 171,000 from Bloomberg, with a range of 130,000 to 225,000. In short, the payrolls grew more than every single economist was predicting. It gets even better on the private sector payrolls. Some 246,000 jobs were added by the private sector in February. Bloomberg had a consensus reading of only 195,000, and the range from economists was 160,000 to 235,000. This also beat all economist expectations.
The Labor Department also showed a $0.04 gain in hourly earnings to $23.82, and the average work week rose by 0.1 hours to 34.5 hours. Government payrolls fell by 10,000.
Stocks will like this number, and the DJIA is indicated up 50 points and the S&P 500 is indicated up more than four points. Bond prices are falling, so yields are rising on the news.