Job growth surged last month as auto makers, builders and retailers pushed the unemployment rate to a four-year low, defying concerns that budget battles in Washington would harm the economic expansion.
Employment rose 236,000 last month after a revised 119,000 gain in
January that was smaller than first estimated, Labor Department figures
showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 90 economists
surveyed by Bloomberg projected an advance of 165,000. The jobless rate
dropped to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008, from 7.9
Stocks, the dollar and Treasury yields all rose on signs the world’s largest economy is gaining strength in the face of federal budget cuts and higher payroll taxes. The report may fuel debate among Federal Reserve policy makers considering how long to maintain record stimulus to boost growth and employment.
[which could be bad for the stock market. when the unemployment rate drops and gdp grows, the Fed will stop buying bonds, raise the interest rate, making stocks less attractive]