The unemployment rate fell 4.5 percent from 4.6 percent in January. The consensus among economists was that the unemployment rate would stay at 4.6 percent, although a bit more than 20 percent of those surveyed by Reuters had been looking for a rise to 4.7 percent. Few had forecast a decline.
Wages are now up 4.1 percent from a year earlier, and kept worker pay ahead of price increases. There was a 2.1 percent increase in prices over the 12 months ending in January
The recent history is that the initial estimates have been revised up consistently – which means the accuracy of the initial read is less reliable recently that it had been previously.
it is natural and perhaps overdue that hiring should slow down, given the below-trend economic growth that the U.S. economy started showing with the second quarter of 2006. “Employment is a lagging indicator,” he said.