Wednesday, May 6, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Employers add 175K jobs despite harsh weather

By
From page A2 | March 07, 2014 |

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers stepped up hiring in February despite a blast of harsh winter weather, renewing hopes that the economy could accelerate this year.

The Labor Department said Friday that employers added 175,000 jobs, up from 129,000 in January. The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent from a five-year low of 6.6 percent as more Americans began seeking jobs but many didn’t find them. That’s still an encouraging sign because more job hunters suggest that people were more optimistic about their prospects.

Friday’s figures were a welcome surprise after recent reports showed that harsh weather had closed factories, lowered auto sales and slowed home sales. Along with an increase in wages last month, the report suggests that some employers are confident that consumer spending will pick up in coming months.

“If the economy managed to generate 175,000 new jobs in a month when the weather was so severe, once the weather returns to seasonal norms … employment growth is likely to accelerate further,” Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients.

Investors welcomed the news, pushing up the Dow Jones industrial average 65 points in morning trading.

The severe winter had less effect on hiring than most economists feared. Construction companies, which usually stop work in bad weather, added 15,000 jobs.

Manufacturing gained 6,000 for the second month in a row. Government added 13,000 jobs, the most in six months. Shipping and warehousing companies and retailers cut jobs.

Still, the monthly average of 129,000 jobs that employers have added from December through February marks the weakest three-month stretch since mid-2012. It is down from 225,000 a month in the previous three months.

The report presents “a picture of a grinding but positive recovery in the economy,” said Stephen Wood, chief market strategist at Russell Investments.

The government revised up its estimate of job gains for December and January by a combined 25,000. December’s gain was revised up from 75,000 to 84,000, January’s from 113,000 to 129,000.

Average hourly pay rose 9 cents in February to $24.31, the biggest gain since June. Hourly wages have risen 2.2 percent over the past 12 months, ahead of 1.6 percent inflation over that time.

Friday’s report makes it likely that the Federal Reserve will continue reducing its monthly bond purchases at its next meeting March 18-19. The Fed is buying Treasury and mortgage bonds to try to keep long-term loan rates low to spur growth. Fed policymakers have reduced their monthly bond purchases by $10 billion at each of their past two meetings to $65 billion.

Though harsh winter weather didn’t appear to slow hiring much, the number of Americans who said weather forced them to work part time rather than full time reached the highest level in the 36 years that the government has tracked the figure. Hours worked fell.

Some recent reports hint that the economy will accelerate as the weather warms. The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell last week and is at about the same level as before the Great Recession.

Applications essentially reflect layoffs. The decline suggests that companies are confident about future growth, because layoffs would rise if employers expected business to weaken. Instead, businesses advertised more jobs online last month, according to the Conference Board. Online job ads rose 268,100 in February to 5.19 million.

Still, other factors are weighing on the economy. Auto makers and other manufacturers built up big stockpiles of goods in the second half of last year. That means they are likely producing fewer goods this year and is probably one reason factory orders are down.

Most economists forecast the economy will grow at a 2 percent annual pace or less in the first three months of the year, down from a 2.4 percent pace in the final three months of 2013. But they expect growth to accelerate in the spring and summer to roughly a 3 percent pace.

———

By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP economics writer. AP Economics Writers Josh Boak and Paul Wiseman contributed to this report.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

 
New chemistry building in the works at UCD

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

County supervisors receive positive report on Laura’s Law

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Fix it yourself, with a little help, at Bike Forth

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

California regulators approve unprecedented water cutbacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: Squeezed by the math on conservation

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Big Day of Giving surpasses $5 million goal

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Heidrick Ag History Center rebranded as California Agriculture Museum

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
May 11 talk focuses on clean water

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

‘From Age-ing to Sage-ing’ guides library group

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Crossing lines, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

’12 Angry Men’ will screen Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Kids get a peek at the great outdoors

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
BeerFest expands to include cider

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Pet Food Express organizes Save a Kitten fundraiser

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Origami lovers will meet at library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Breast cancer treatment update offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Earth-centered author comes to Avid Reader

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

MIND Institute lecture will focus on prenatal exposure to insecticide

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Round up at the registers for Davis schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

 
Retirees to hear about Woodland’s shade tree campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Health care documentary will screen at meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Pence Gallery: We’re overflowing with gratitude

By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Who is Ralph Hexter? Chancellor’s No. 2 fills us in

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

New book flows with good news about water

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Injection wells endanger our aquifers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

Living with this for 30 years

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Aggies go flat in 7-1 Sacramento State win at Raley

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils crush Edison to earn McClatchy rematch

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devils grind out a victory over Oak Ridge

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Davis boys dominate first playoff match

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Alliance/Legacy roundup: Local squads fare well over the weekend

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
AYSO roundup: Davis teams capture Fog Classic crowns

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Pro baseball roundup: Giants blank Pads, win fifth straight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Features

.

Arts

High school artists exhibited at Pence Gallery

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
See Christian Quintin’s paintings at Hattie Weber Museum

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble returns

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Sac Ballet presents Modern Masters on May 8-9

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

 
Davis Youth Flute Choir tunes up for China tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B5