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Friday's strong jobs report shows that employers are confident they can invest in hiring, but there is still more progress to be made, particularly in raising wages, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez told CNBC.
"We've got to continue to work on real wage growth and we've got to cont to work to make sure that everyone who wants a job can get access to a job," Perez said in a "Squawk on the Street" interview. "No one's spiking the football here, but there's an undeniable tailwind in the economy."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. employers added 295,000 jobs in February, well above expectations of 240,000 new positions. The unemployment rate also fell more than anticipated, dropping to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent.
However, wages grew just 3 cents per hour in February, following growth of 12 cents per hour in January.
Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial said that number was lackluster, but said the report was positive overall.
"We certainly saw a surge in hiring at restaurants and bars, which means people are kicking up their heels a little bit and spending that extra money their saving at the pump and going out," she said.
Hiring at bars and restaurants accounted for the largest growth with 59,000 positions added.
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Swonk also sees more full-time hiring in business services helping college graduates get back into the labor force, which should eventually improve the formation of households as they move out on their own. Business services came in just behind bars and restaurants with 51,000 new jobs.
Perez pointed to gains of 29,000 in the construction industry and a 42-hour average working week as positive indicators for the middle class.
"These are good bellwethers. Success begets success, and when I look at these numbers and I look at the last year, I see confidence that employers have that they can make those investments in workers, and I see more workers who have a hop back in their step," he said.
Recent inclement winter weather should not lead to significant revisions in February data, he said, noting that the impact of last year's weather-related disruptions were about four or five times more evident.
The report is good, but not quite as good as the headline would suggest, said Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs. The lower unemployment rate was driven primarily by the low labor participation rate.
The number of Americans participating in the labor market was little changed at 62.8 percent in February.
"If you had an actual rebound in labor force participation to the sort of levels you had in 2007, that would open up a lot of additional labor resources," he told "Squawk on the Street."
The labor force participation rate could go a touch higher in the coming years, but will not get back to 2007 levels because a substantial part of the decline is due to the aging population, he said. Retired workers are not counted as part of the labor force.
As for the impact on the stock market, David Kelly, JPMorgan Funds chief global strategist, said he expects to see more job and income growth in the consumer discretionary sector, as well as positive impacts in technology.
Utilities, telecommunications and real estate investment trust stocks could take a hit because the positive jobs report may spur the Federal Reserve to raise long-term interest rates sooner, he said. Traders invest in these sectors as substitutes for yield when interest rates are low.
—CNBC's Jeff Cox contributed to this story.