Economic Indicators

News from EPI Strong job growth in February, but flat wages are a sign the Fed should hold off

The Labor Department reported this morning that 242,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in February, up from 172,000 in January. This pace of job growth continues a long but consistent climb back to recovery for the U.S. economy, and upward revisions of previous months’ data on job growth is encouraging. However, previous months’ progress on wage growth stopped in February, with hourly earnings actually falling. Over the past year, hourly wage growth was 2.2 percent, a depressingly low number. Continued months of strong job growth should eventually translate into durable accelerations in wage growth, but it hasn’t happened yet. Given this, job creation and economic expansion should continue to be encouraged, not tamped down with another interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve at their next meeting.

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