US economy added 235,000 jobs in February due to gains in the construction and manufacturing sectors, according to the latest monthly employment report that represents President Donald Trump’s first full month in office.
The gain clears the way for the Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark interest rate when it meets next week.
The data tends to give a big boost to the confidence of the new Trump administration whose major electoral plank was creation of new jobs.
“Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 235,000 in February, and the unemployment rate changed little at 4.7 per cent. Job gains occurred in construction, private educational services, manufacturing, health care, and mining,” Willian J Wiatrowski, Acting Commissioner Bureau of Labor Statistics, said in a statement.
“Not a bad way to start day 50 of this administration,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
“Great news for American workers: economy added 235,000 new jobs, unemployment rate drops to 4.7 per cent in first report for @POTUS Trump,” he tweeted.
The overall economic momentum and optimism was given an extra push by February’s unusually warm weather, with almost a quarter of the jobs about 58,000 coming from construction alone.
Further employment in manufacturing increased by 28,000 in the month of February. Employment rose in food manufacturing (9,000) and in machinery (7,000), while transportation equipment lost 6,000 jobs. Manufacturing has added 57,000 jobs since November, the report said.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady described this as a great report.
The Committee on Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives.
“The fact that hundreds of thousands more people found new jobs last month is a good sign that our economy is moving in the right direction,” he said.
“While we still have much more work to do, I’m optimistic that the actions that President Trump and House Republicans are taking will add to this momentum creating more jobs, growing families’ paychecks, and improving the lives of all Americans,” Brady said.