Job growth in the United States is headed for recovery, said Bob Doll, vice chairman and chief investment officer for global equities at BlackRock.
Doll said the labor market will see a recovery in a “tepid way.” He said the corporate sector is “regaining strength” and “becoming healthy.”
Companies are reporting strong productivity and are extending working hours for existing employees, Doll told Bloomberg.
However, consumer confidence in February declined to the lowest level in 10 months.
Meanwhile, U.S. employers cut a smaller than expected 36,000 jobs in February, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 9.7 percent, according to a government report on Friday which said it was unclear how severe weather had impacted payrolls. The Labor Department said job losses for December and January had been revised to show 35,000 fewer jobs lost than previously reported.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected non-farm payrolls to drop 50,000 last month and the unemployment rate to edge up to 9.8 percent. The median forecast from the 20 most accurate forecasters also saw payrolls falling by 50,000, while the 10 most accurate economists predicted a 70,000 decline.
To be sure, Doll said job growth will be followed by income growth and eventually the recovery will be extended to the consumer.
While hiring levels will be below the trend, they will be positive, Doll said. “We think it is right around coroner,” he said about job growth.
Billionaire Warren Buffett said the economy is improving slowly, which means job growth will follow the same trend, CNBC reported.
He said the 80 subsidiaries owned by his Berkshire Hathaway are reporting only a little improvement. "It's getting better, but at a very, very slow rate," Buffett said.
Until consumer demand improves, there will not be much job growth, he said. "The jobs will come back, but it won't be fast," he said.
The employment index increased to 56.1 in February from 53.3 in January, CNNMoney.com reported. This marks the third month of growth in employment.
"With these levels of activity, manufacturers are seemingly willing to hire where they have orders to support higher employment," said Norbert J. Ore, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee in a news release.
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