Fed gets another reason not to rush on rate cuts

Federal Reserve policymakers weighing when to start interest-rate cuts got another reason Friday to sit tight for now, after a government report showed jobs growth surged in February but the overall labor market continued to show signs of cooling.

Employers added a robust 275,000 jobs last month, a Labor Department report showed on Friday, handily beating the 200,000 that economists expected.

Still, the report’s revisions of prior months’ estimates showed smaller job gains in January and December than had earlier been thought, suggesting that a long-anticipated slowing in job gains is underway. The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, its highest in two years, though still below levels the Fed sees as sustainable in the long-run.

And wage growth has continued to edge down, rising 4.3% in February from a year earlier, down from 4.4% in January. Fed policymakers won’t see that growth as consistent yet with their 2% inflation goal, but it is moving in the right direction.


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