Connecticut's job growth falls short of federal projections

Still, economists warned against reading too much into February's weaker-than-expected hiring.

The Labor Department said on Friday that non-farm payrolls added just 20,000 jobs.

The employment expansion in the private sector continued, though the revised figures increased the overall jobs losses and cut the gains.

The national unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent. That measure had risen in January during the shutdown as some furloughed government workers took part-time jobs temporarily.

Some experts fear the United States economy may suffer due to the prolonged trade conflict with China, and the lackluster performance of other global markets.

Background and Analysis- On a year-over-year (y/y) basis (February 2019 over February 2018), total nonfarm employment was up 1.7%, and monthly job gains have averaged approximately 209,000 over the past 12 months.

The unemployment rate fell despite the tepid pace of hiring.

"The U.S. labor market is still in good shape", said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial. "I think the big news really was that wages went up and that's great for the American worker".

US nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 20,000 in February, the Labor Department said Friday, marking the slowest pace for job growth since September 2017, when hurricanes skewed the data, and falling well below economists' expectations for 180,000 new jobs.

CFRA Research Investment strategist Lindsey Bell, BMO Capital Markets chief investment strategist Brian Belski and Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management CEO Phil Blancato on the release of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book and the state of the US stock market. Economists expect job growth to average about 150,000 this year. I also predict that earnings will post a 5-cent increase, for a 3.2 percent year-over-year gain.

Job gain occurred in education and health services (+500), leisure and hospitality (+300), natural resources, mining, and construction (+100), trade, transportation and utilities (+100), and other services (+100), the department noted. Layered on top of those blockbuster jobs numbers, matched with healthy hourly earnings gains, has been a macroeconomic environment that portends a deceleration in economic growth.

Hourly wages saw their biggest gains in almost a decade, more evidence of the tight labour market.

"This month's jobs report highlights the importance of focusing on workforce investment that builds the skills needed to fill the record amount of open jobs", Acosta said.