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United States | Private job creation stronger than expected in February



(Washington) Private sector companies in the United States added 242,000 jobs in February, more than in January and than expected, a sign that the American labor market remains in excellent health, according to the monthly survey ADP/Stanford Lab released Wednesday.

This is more than the 205,000 job creations anticipated by analysts, according to MarketWatch’s consensus. And the number of jobs created in January has been revised upwards, to 119,000 instead of 106,000.

This robust level of hiring “is good for the economy and workers, but wage growth is still quite high,” preventing inflation from slowing, commented Nela Richardson, chief economist at business services firm ADP. .

Wage growth was 7.2% year-on-year for people who kept their jobs, the lowest in the past 12 months. For those who changed jobs, wages rose 14.3% year on year, from 14.9% in January.

“The slight slowdown in wage growth, on its own, should not be able to bring down inflation quickly in the short term,” said Nela Richardson.

Because bringing down high inflation presupposes slowing down economic activity. This is what the American central bank (Fed) is trying to do, by raising its rates, to increase the cost of credit and discourage households from consuming.

But the effects have so far been limited, and prices are still rising sharply in services, apart from housing.

In January, private job creations had slowed sharply due to unfavorable weather conditions, but the survey had shown a still solid labor market.

This good health had been confirmed by official figures, between a rebound in job creation (517,000) and a falling unemployment rate, at its lowest since 1969 at 3.4%.

The official figures for February will be published on Friday, the unemployment rate is expected to be stable, and job creations half as high as in January (225,000 expected).

In addition, there were 10.8 million vacancies at the end of January, 410,000 less than at the end of December, according to data published by the Labor Department, also on Wednesday.

During the first month of the year, 3.9 million resignations were recorded. The historic record was reached in November 2021, with 4.5 million resignations.

This “is consistent with a slowing job market,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist of the job site ZipRecruiter, on Twitter.

But, if these figures show “that job creations are going in the right direction for the Fed”, however “the decline is far too modest” to convince the institution that this will be enough, commented Matthew Martin, economist for Oxford. Economics, in a footnote.

“Workers continue to feel confident about finding new employment, while employers are reluctant to fire workers they initially struggled to find,” he adds.

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