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US jobs data for February expected to show economy nearing full employment

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US jobs data for February expected to show economy nearing full employment

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Photo: Bronte Wittpenn/AP

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release a report on employment data today. The data is expected to show the US economy nearing full employment, with some 235,000 jobs predicted to have been offered by private employers in February. On the back of those numbers, the unemployment rate is expected to fall to 4%, its lowest level since 2000.

Still, US employment data could be in store for a huge shakeup if President Trump presses ahead with plans to impose 10% and 25% tariffs on aluminium and steel, respectively. Though the import taxes could increase jobs in the aluminium and steel sectors, they will likely lead to a spike in prices of the two commodities. This would cause layoffs in the industries that rely on the metals, namely energy and construction, both of which employ more workers than the aluminium and steel sectors.

Additionally, expected retaliation to the tariffs by Washington’s trading partners, particularly Canada, Mexico and the EU, could hurt US industries that find themselves at a disadvantage in overseas markets. As such, expect future employment data to fluctuate dramatically if the president imposes tariffs on the two metals. l tension.

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