Collapse-surprise in the United States

Effondrement-surprise aux États-Unis

Photo: Elaine Thompson, Associated Press
Job creation in the United States collapsed in February, to the surprise of analysts, reflecting the impact of the “shutdown” of the Administration the month before.

Job creation in the United States collapsed in February, to the surprise of analysts, reflecting the impact of the shutdown of the Administration in the months before, but also the difficulties of larger and larger companies to fill jobs.

According to data from the department of Labor published on Friday, the u.s. economy, which was created in January, a record number of jobs for a year because of the partial closure of administrative services, has resulted in the last month that 20,000 jobs, the lowest level since September 2017. The unemployment rate has nevertheless fallen back to its level from October to 3.8 %, against 4 % in January.

The fall in employment has taken analysts by surprise, who thought that the labour market would create 173 000 new hires after 311 000 in January (revised figure up). It may reflect the slowdown announced for the u.s. economy, but also an atypical variation due to the effects of the shutdown and the impact of weather conditions, as shown in the construction sector, which lost 31,000 jobs.

This poor performance can be also the sign turned out of the employment difficulties of which you complain more and more employers for months. The last beige Book of the u.s. central Bank, a report of economic conditions released Wednesday, showed that the companies had trouble finding skilled employees in a wide range of sectors, from information technology to transportation passing by the hotel.

For the analysts of Capital Economics, the downturn in the labour market ” is a new evidence that the u.s. economy is about to collapse “, which should lead to a fall this year in global equity markets. But Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics, the disappointing February ” is not a trend “, but only the backlash of the shutdown and the mild climate that prevailed in January.

Larry Kudlow, the chief economic adviser of the White House has downplayed the significance of this figure he describes as ” an anomaly “. “I’d lend not pay attention, to be honest with you “, he launched on the channel CBNC, citing the schedule, the closure of the Administration and the parameters of the seasonal like so many uncertain factors. The number of unemployed has declined by 300 000, to $ 6.2 million. “The economy is very, very strong “, said the president Donald Trump in the gardens of the White House on Friday, shortly after the publication of these figures.

The rank of the good news, hourly compensation rose 0.4 %, above forecasts of analysts, which represents an increase of 3.4 % year on year, the highest for nearly ten years, while inflation is close to 2 %.