Business

A Positive Jobs Report Could Mean Interest Rate Hike

REUTERS/Gary Cameron

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Ted Goodman Reporter

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release its monthly jobs report Friday, and positive numbers could lead to an interest rate hike, according to U.S. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen.

Yellen said that if Friday’s jobs report, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, meets expectations, an interest rate hike would be “appropriate.”

“At our meeting later this month, the committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate,” Yellen said during a March 3 address to a business luncheon in Chicago.

Wall Street is forecasting an increase of 200,000 workers to non-farm payrolls, and it expects the unemployment rate to drop slightly, from 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent. (RELATED: First Jobs Report Under Trump Admin: 227K New Jobs Added)

The expected jobs gains is likely to be enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates when it meets March 14.

In January, the labor participation rate rose to 62.9 percent, which was up slightly from a rate of 62.7 percent in December.

A recent LinkedIn report revealed that hiring increased 1.4 percent  in February 2017 compared to February 2016. While the report indicated hobs growth slowed down in February from January, year-over-year hiring continued to improve. (RELATED: America Sees 1.4 Jump In Hiring)

The new jobs numbers come the same week that Exxon Mobil announced a new jobs program, aiming to invest $20 billion into hiring in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

Wall Street closely watches the monthly figure to determine when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again. The Fed increased rates for the second time in a decade in December.

The new jobs numbers will be released Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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