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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wells Fargo's Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary- March 9, 2012

- The labor market added a total of 227,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.3%, while last month’s job gains were revised higher to 284,000.

. The private sector added 233,000 jobs in February due to strong gains in manufacturing, education and health, and leisure and hospitality.

. Average hourly earnings rose just 0.1% in January and are up just 1.9% year-over-year, indicating a large portion of recent job gains have been in low paying industries.

- Initial jobless claims rose to 362,000 for the week ending March 3, the third consecutive weekly increase, while the four-week moving average rose to 355,000.

- The ISM non-manufacturing index rose 0.5 points to 57.3 in January, as the business activity component increased 3.1 points to 62.6 and the new orders component rose 1.8 points to 61.2.

- The real trade deficit widened in December to -$49.1 billion from -$48.3 billion, with much of the change due to rising petroleum prices.

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