U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in February, wages grinded higher, setting stage for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. Fred Katayama reports.
The much stronger than expected jobs report sent stocks higher and the dollar lower on Friday. The Labor Department data showed the U.S. economy added 235,000 positions in February. The unemployment rate edged down to 4.7 percent even though more people came off the sidelines looking for jobs. Plus, wages went up. Economic Cycle Reseasrch Institute's Lakshman Achuthan says that clears the way for the U.S. Federal Reserve to hike interest rates at its meeting next week. (SOUNDBITE) LAKSHMAN ACHUTHAN, CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER, ECONOMIC CYCLE RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ECRI), (ENGLISH) SAYING: "That's virtually guaranteed, even before the jobs report, the odds were extremely high, and this is just the the last straw, the nail in the coffin whatever, however you want to say it. They're going to hike they're actually probably feeling behind the curve, and that they have to do some catch up here. So, it's not one and done." But Achuthan also says that, despite the good headline numbers, wages haven't grown faster than inflation, and many people have to support themselves with more than one job. All sectors expanded their payrolls in February, except retail and utilities. The construction industry added the most jobs, thanks to warm weather. Losing the most jobs: the retail sector. Retailers like J.C. Penney and Macy's are closing stores and laying off workers.