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Jobs Report Keeps Fed Guessing About Rate Hike Decision

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The Eccles Building, which houses the U.S. Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.

US job growth slowed in January, but unemployment hit an eight-year low and wage growth is up, keeping the Fed guessing about the right hike call for its March meeting.

On one hand, .5% wage growth and 4.9% unemployment could spur the inflation the Fed needs to raise rates, but weak job creation points to a slowing economy, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Despite the mixed signals, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is bullish on the recovery, telling Bloomberg the report looks solid and “has all the hallmarks" of a mature recovery.

“This has been the best six months of real wage growth since the beginning of the recovery," he says. The Fed will have its next meeting in March, with one more jobs report scheduled before then. [WSJ]