News Mar 13, 2017 09:26 AM EDT

US jobs increase in Trump's first full month projecting economic optimism

By April Kirstin Chua

US employers added 235,000 jobs in February as per a Labor Department report released on Friday. The increase in employment, particularly in the areas of construction and manufacturing, followed a 238,000 rise in January that was more than what analysts have previously estimated.

The data further show that unemployment rate in the US fell to 4.7 percent and wages grew 2.8 percent from February 2016. This represents President Donald Trump's first full month in office and proved a surge in economic optimism after his presidential victory. Trump is especially cheery with the news and retweeted a Drudge Report headline regarding the 235,000 increase in US jobs.

"We're getting closer and closer to full employment," said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody's Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. "Wages had been the one sore spot in the labor market data, and I think that's coming through here." The US employment figures also validate the comment from Federal Reserve officials that predicted an interest-rate increase this month.

As to the specific data of each sector of US jobs, private employment saw an increase of 227,000 positions following a 221,000 increase the previous month. Construction jobs also rose 58,000 and followed a 40,000 increase in January. Manufacturing jobs, on the other hand, gained 28,000 US jobs while retail positions plummeted 26,000 jobs in four years.

Several economists have projected an average monthly increase of 171,000 US jobs and this will likely sustain or even rise as Trump has promised to add 25 million jobs over the next 10 years that would require 208,000 jobs per month or 2.5 million employment in a year. Contrary to their optimistic predictions and vows, Sweet has found this goal to be ambitious as weather conditions had some effect on the rise in US jobs, notably in construction.

The rise in US jobs saw a decline in unemployment rate with a median projection of 4.7 percent. Meanwhile, the participation rate increased to 63 percent that shows many are entering the labor force. With the given results, many claim the job increase as a good sign that the US economy is moving in the right direction. 

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