Last month, U.S. non farm payroll presented yet again a sharp rise in number of jobs — 295K jobs, according to latest report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Market expectations and the ADP report were at 241K and 212K, respectively, for February. According to the recent U.S. employment report, the main sectors that grew were in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing. The rate of unemployment edged down to 5.5%. Gold and silver take another dive.
The chart below shows the revised figures of the added number of non-farm employees in the labor market in past years (up to February 2014). The non-farm payroll in January and December were only slightly revised down by a total of 18K than previously reported. This revision comes after the January report initially showed a gain of 257K jobs.
In February, the rate of U.S. unemployment slightly fell by 0.2 percentage points to 5.5%. The current unemployment rate is 1.2 percent points lower than its rate in February 2014.
Moreover, the number of unemployed persons (8.705 million) fell by 274K in February compared to the previous month. A closer look shows that the civilian labor force contracted by 178K. So there was a drop in both the number of unemployed and the number of people participating in the labor force; the participation rate inched down to 62.8%.
Finally, wages also picked up – the hourly earnings rose by 3 cents to $24.78 per hour, which is 1.9% higher than the same month last year. Even though the annual growth rate in wages has slightly contracted, this is still a good indication for the progress of the U.S. labor market.
Following this news, the U.S dollar sharply appreciated against the Euro and Yen; crude oil price fell down; the U.S stock market indexes also slipped; gold and silver prices took another dive.
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