It is now official: the economy is producing a healthy number of new jobs in 2017.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy produced 235,000 in February. This is more than the 190,000 new jobs that economists expected to see.
It was an unexpectedly strong showing, in other words. This was especially true of the construction sector, which added the most jobs in February (58,000) than it has in any month for the past ten years.
The unemployment rate was largely unchanged, at 4.7 percent.
In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 6 cents to $26.09, following a 5-cent increase in January.
Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 71 cents, or 2.8 percent. In February, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.86 in February.
These are strong numbers. Hopefully, these numbers will build more confidence in the economy, and lead to even more hiring.