A whopping 313,000 people entered the U.S. workforce in February, crushing the economists’ expectation of 205,000 by more than 50 percent.
The report is a win for President Donald Trump, who promised to bring back jobs. The news sent stocks soaring and prompted a celebratory tweet from the president.
“JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!” Trump wrote on Twitter, adding a hashtag acronym for “Make America Great Again.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 150 points higher, up from being slightly negative before the news.
The majority of the new jobs went to blue-collar sectors. Some 61,000 people started jobs in construction, 50,000 each in retail, professional, and business services, 31,000 in manufacturing, 28,000 in financial activities, 19,000 in healthcare, and 9,000 in mining.
The total number of employed Americans surged to a record 155.2 million. The number of employed Black Americans also reached a record high of 19,087,000 in February. A record number of 72,530,000 women aged 16 and older were counted as employed.
Trump campaigned on a promise to bring back American jobs. Since taking office, the president initiated a wide range of economic and administrative reforms with that goal in mind. Chief among these is the passage of a comprehensive tax-reform bill that cut taxes for 90 percent of working Americans and reduced the tax burden for businesses across the board. Trump’s administration is also slashing government regulations at a record pace.
On the day before the jobs report, Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, meant to protect American companies from a flood of subsidized and unfairly priced imports from countries like China. Steel and aluminum makers fired up idling plants and called back workers when Trump hinted that an announcement is forthcoming.
The Department of Labor, which produces the monthly jobs report, also revised prior months’ reports upwards, setting the average monthly jobs gain at 242,000 per month over the past three months.
“The jobs streak remains intact, and it’s punctuating what has been a tremendous start to the year,” Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*Trade, told CNBC.
According to Bespoke Investment Group, the February report beat expectations by the biggest margin since June 2009.
The unemployment level remains at 4.1 percent, the lowest in 17 years.
The number of Americans participating in the labor force was at 63 percent in February, a statistic that has remained stagnant for the past four years, CNS News reported. But Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress last month that reports of jobs growth are still a sign of job-market growth, “given that retiring baby-boomers are putting downward pressure on the participation rate.”