U.S. Jobs Up 678K in February, More Than Expected, Adding to Price Pressures
The U.S. added 678,000 jobs last month, more than expected, in a sign of how tight the labor market has become as Federal Reserve officials commence efforts to slow inflation running at its fastest in four decades.
The February jobs report from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics was being monitored by crypto traders in case the data might affect the Federal Reserve’s efforts to contain inflation running at the fastest in four decades. A hot labor market can lead to faster wage increases, which can fuel inflation if businesses try to pass along their higher personnel costs to consumers.
Bitcoin (BTC) is seen by some investors as a hedge against inflation, but it often trades more like a risky asset, similar to stocks, with prices under pressure this year as the Fed moved to raise interest rates to help slow the rise in consumer prices.
- Nonfarm payrolls increased by 678,000, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor of Statistics reported Friday.
- The unemployment rate edged down to 3.8%.
- Economists surveyed by Reuters had projected, on average, a gain of 400,000 jobs during the month.
- Fed Chair Jerome Powell described the labor market as “extremely tight” when testifying this week before U.S. lawmakers.
- Powell signaled that the U.S. central bank will raise interest rates this month for the first time since 2018.
- The Fed’s next monetary-policy meeting is scheduled for March 15-16.