US jobs report

The economy gained a meager 20,000 jobs in February, indicating that the nation's 10-year economic expansion has potentially hit a speed bump.
Monthly employment data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics also showed that the February unemployment rate ticked down to 3.8 percent, after spiking last month due to temporary layoffs from the 35-day partial government shutdown.
Wage growth grew by 0.3 percent, with lower-wage workers seeing the most benefit.
Improved economic conditions and higher wages are bringing people off the sidelines and back to work, especially older Americans, with the BLS data showing an increase in the labor force participation rate.
“A tighter labor market seems to be putting pressure particularly on the lower-paid end," said Martha Gimbel, Indeed Hiring Lab’s director of economic research. "Over 2018, wage growth in low-wage industries was 4.4 percent, while in middle- and high-wage industries it didn’t top 3 percent.”
According to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book, which measures economic conditions across the country and helps the Fed set its benchmark lending rates, many companies are having trouble finding qualified workers.
The Fed survey results, released Wednesday, also showed that some manufacturers were concerned that Trump's trade policies are negatively impacting international demand for their products. The manufacturing industry is in decline globally, dragged down by the tariff war and a stalling in China’s economic growth engine.
February's monthly figures from the Labor Department show the economy is ultimately shaking off the aftereffects of the 35-day partial government shutdown, which cost $11 billion and sidelined almost a million workers after a continued stalemate between Congress and President Donald Trump over the allocation of $5.7 billion in border wall funds.