WASHINGTON, DC—On Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy created 175,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.7%. While the news wasn’t as dismal as earlier months’ job creation figures, it wasn’t either something to celebrate. But there three reasons to hope that the economy is continuing to recover from those numbers.
1] The increase in the unemployment rate indicated that more people were re-entering the workforce to look for work, Cushman & Wakefield’s Ken McCarthy tells GlobeSt.com. “That suggests there is greater about the labor markets from workers,” he says.
2] January’s and December’s job numbers were revised upwards says Doug Duncan, chief economist of Fannie Mae, by some 25,000 jobs. There was also a 0.4% jump in average hourly earnings.
3] The slowdown at the beginning of the year is not likely a longer trend, based on these numbers, says Chris Muoio, senior associate and economist with Auction.com Research. “While the labor market has certainly started off 2014 on a softer note, this figure does a lot to assuage fears that the slowdown is anything more than transitory.”
Not that one should read too deeply into these points. The labor markets are clearly soft and as Muoio pointed out, Auction.com’s Employment Acceleration Index eroded further in February, coming in at -32.3, down from last month’s reading of -21.6. “We are chalking this up to the erosion of growth in the healthcare sector that has occurred in recent months as well as persistent negativity from the federal government,” he says.