The number of Americans now employed has set another new record, topping 155 million for the first time ever.
Since President Donald Trump took office, employment records have been topped eight times. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 155,215,000 Americans were employed in February, which is 785,000 more than last month’s record of 154,430,000.
Black employment also hit a record high of 19,087,000 last month. In addition, a record 72,530,000 women 16 and older were employed. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate stayed at 4.1%, the fifth straight month the measure has held steady. That’s the lowest it’s been since Bill Clinton was president.
Other findings, according to CNSNews:
— The economy added a whopping 313,000 jobs in February. BLS said after revisions, job gains have averaged 242,000 over the last 3 months.
— Wages continue to rise: In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $26.75, following a 7-cent gain in January. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 68 cents, or 2.6 percent.
— The number of Americans not in the labor force, meaning they are not working or looking for work, remained stubbornly high at 95,012,000. This group includes a growing number of retirees as well as people who are going to school or who choose not to work for other reasons.
“Economists surveyed by Reuters had been expecting nonfarm payroll growth of 200,000 and the unemployment rate to decline one-tenth of a percent to 4 percent,” CNBC reported.
Stocks surged following the report, with the Dow industrials opening more than 150 points higher after being slightly negative before the news.
“The underlying economic growth is quite strong, but there’s no real pressures from a wages and inflation standpoint,” said Greg Peters, senior investment officer at PGIM Fixed Income. “It’s very good for risk assets.”