The U.S. added 311,000 jobs in February, topping economist forecasts for 205,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Nonfarm Payrolls report. The unemployment rate rose to 3.6% versus expectations for it to hold steady at 3.4%.
January’s blowout job gain of 517,000 was revised lower to 504,000.
Having slumped nearly 8% in the 24 hours prior to Friday morning’s jobs numbers, Bitcoin (BTC) is bouncing modestly in the immediate aftermath, returning to just above $20,000
Always widely-followed, this morning’s jobs report has taken on particular importance given the events of the past few days. First, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell earlier this week suggested that the U.S. central bank may need to get more aggressive in tightening monetary policy to fight stubbornly high inflation. Next, on Wednesday evening, crypto-lender Silvergate Bank collapsed.
While the Silvergate failure didn’t arouse much concern outside of crypto circles, it was quickly followed a crash in the stock price of SVB Financial (SIVB), the holding company of tech-friendly lender Silicon Valley Bank (down 60% on Thursday and down another 60% in premarket trading on Friday). The banking sector – as represented by the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) – tumbled 7.3% on Thursday.