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Mark Whitehouse

The Animal Spirits in the Jobs Report

The first few months since Trump's election have been good for miners, machinists and construction workers.
The future of the U.S. economy?

The future of the U.S. economy?

Photographer: Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images

Has the presidential election of Donald Trump reawakened the animal spirits in the U.S. economy, giving businesses more confidence to create jobs? Judging from the latest data, it may have -- particularly if you're a miner, a machinist or a construction worker.

The employment report for February brought positive news for Trump. Nonfarm employers added an estimated 235,000 jobs, bringing the three-month average to 209,000 -- more than enough to compensate for natural growth in the labor force. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage point to 4.7 percent. And in a sign that the demand for labor is translating into bigger pay raises, the average hourly wage gained 2.8 percent from a year earlier, exceeding the average pace of the past several years.