Hicks: Jobs Report Suggests 'Unsettling Trends'

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Hicks says the numbers "signal a more static, rather than optimistic, labor market." Hicks says the numbers "signal a more static, rather than optimistic, labor market."
MUNCIE -

Ball State University economist Michael Hicks says, despite the national February employment report being better than expected, it also shows some negative trends continue to "haunt the economy." Hicks says most of the 242,000 newly-created jobs last month were in lower-paying fields.

The good news, Hicks says, is that the economy has recorded positive job growth for a record 65 months in a row. However, he says wage growth was negative in February and weekly hours worked declined. Hicks says those numbers "signal a more static, rather than optimistic, labor market."

The U.S. Department of Labor says the 242,000 net jobs gained in February kept the unemployment rate at 4.9 percent. It also revised its December and January numbers, adding a total of 30,000 additional jobs.

Indiana's latest employment report showed the state's jobless rate remained at 4.4 percent in December, which remains the lowest level in more than a decade. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says the rate has decreased by 1.5 percent over the last year.

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