3/10: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

February job growth rose by 273,000, unemployment dipped again to 3.5 percent

Pre-COVID 19 job growth soared by 273,000 in February (clearly prior to the COVID-19 outbreak), while the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 3.5 percent. This rate of growth compares to 273,000 in January, and just 1,000 in February 2019 (revised down from an original estimate of 20,000).



February Employment Trends Index dipped 0.81 percent 109.85, down 1.2 percent year-on-year

The Employment Trends Index slipped 0.81 percent to 109.85 in February, following a strong increase in January, but down 1.2 percent year-on-year.  The drop in February was the result of a large negative contribution from the ‘Jobs Hard to Get’ component. The COVID-19 outbreak had little impact, if any, on the index in February.



January consumer credit use rose at annual rate of 3.5 percent vs. 5.8 percent in December

In January, consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.50 percent, down sharply from December 2019’s 5.8 percent as consumers pay down holiday bills. Revolving credit (such as for credit cards) decreased at an annual rate of 3.25 percent, while nonrevolving credit (such as for car loans and student loans) increased at an annual rate of 5.75 percent.