In a release on Friday, the labor department said payrolls in the US increased by 311,000 in February 2023. It is above the Dow Jones estimate of 225,000. It shows that the job market in the US is still hot. However, the unemployment rate surged by 0.2% to 3.6%.
Positive news on inflation
The Federal Reserve in the US is taking measures to slow inflation by slowing down the economy. However, the job trend is stronger despite the deceleration in the month. In today’s breaking news headlines, the average earnings per hour surged 4.6% YoY, showing a positive vibe on the inflation side. However, it is still below the estimate of 4.8%.
Compared to the strong job growth in January, the growth in February decelerated. The nonfarm payroll rolls in 2023 began at 504,000, a minor drop from the initially reported count of 517,000. The total number of nonfarm jobs in the US in December 2022 declined slightly by 21,000 to 239,000.
Fed expects to slow down interest rate hikes
The federal funds rate is hovering between 4.5% and 4.75% after the central bank raised the benchmark rate in the past year by eight times. With the trend of inflation cooling towards the end of 2022, the markets expect positive news from the Fed to pause interest rate hikes. It is evident from the 0.25% rate hike in February. It is also an indication that the Fed may affect the rate hike in multiples of 0.25% in the future.
In contrast, Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, said in a chat with Congress this week that inflation is crawling back to increase according to recent metrics. He also said if the inflation is moving higher, he would affect an interest rate hike to tame it. Jerome cited the tight labor market for increasing interest rates in the future, which may be higher than those affected in February.
However, no decision has been taken for the FOMC meeting this month, according to Jerome; markets declined after his comments. Investors offloaded their stocks, widening the gap between two- and ten-year Treasury yields.
Three women from Texas on a business trip in Mexico are missing
In today’s latest BNN news, three women, who traveled from the US to Mexico on a business trip are missing. In a communiqué released on Friday by the US authorities, two sisters from Texas traveled last month to Mexico to sell clothes. They were also accompanied by a friend, who is the third missing person.
It has been a mystery, and no news has been heard about them in the past two weeks. According to the FBI, two sisters and a friend set out from Peñitas, a small border town near McAllen, Texas, for Mexico. Roel Bermea, Police Chief of Peñitas, claimed that the families of three missing women are in touch with the authorities in Mexico.
The details of missing women are 47-year-old Maritza Trinidad Perez Rios, 48-year-old Marina Perez Rios, and 53-year-old Dora Alicia Cervantes Saenz. According to information gathered from the customs and border protection departments of the US, they crossed into Mexico on February 24 in a Chevy Silverado.