U.S. employers added 100,000 jobs in February, the slowest growth since June 2012, according to California-based TrimTabs Investment Research.
TrimTabs, which bases its job-creation estimates on daily income tax deposits to the U.S. Treasury, said the economy is "weaker than the conventional wisdom believes."
"Not only are consumers coping with higher payroll taxes, but gas prices are up 14 percent so far this year, and some tax refunds are being delayed," CEO David Santschi said in a statement. "I'm not surprised by recent reports of weak sales at restaurant chains and lower-end retailers."
TrimTabs said between 135,000 and 155,000 jobs were created in January. Wage and salary growth is also slowing, according to the firm. Adjusted for government data on consumer price inflation, wages and salaries dipped 1.2 percent year over year in February. That follows a rise of 5.1 percent in January.
The U.S. Department of Labor will issue the government's official job creation estimate, based on surveys, later this week.
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