US Job Growth in February Could Deter the Fed from Cutting Rates

Job growth in the US for February is expected to decrease after it jumped largely in January. However, the trend for employment is also far from dropping, as companies are keeping up their demand for workers.

According to Dow Jones consensus estimates reported by CNBC, the nonfarm payrolls, which will be reported by the Labor Department on Friday, are expected to display job growth of 198,000, with the unemployment rate of 3.7%.

Though the expected number of job growth in February showed a significant decrease in numbers compared to 353,000 growth in January, it would still be demonstrated as a healthy labor market.

Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, noted that the gain of 333,000 in December 2023 and 353,000 growth in January 2024 were boosted by seasonal distortions, while the growth in February 2024 could reach as high as 240,000, as companies aimed to fill their vacancies.

However, the positive trend for the labor market also comes with emerging concerns, as it could impede the Federal Reserve from cutting interest rates.

At present, markets expected the Fed to announce rate cuts in June. The central bank signaled that the cut would come in the near future, while it awaited to get more confident on inflation to move sustainably at 2%.