NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The strength in April's jobs numbers is proof that March's weakness was an anomaly and doesn't point to deeper issues in the labor market, an economist said.

"I wouldn't put too much emphasis on that very disappointing number from March," said Jerry Webman, chief economist at OppenheimerFunds.

The government originally reported that 126,000 jobs were created in March, but on Friday that number was revised to 85,000. Economists attribute the dismal March number to cold temperatures and the West Coast port strike.

"It means the economy didn't do as much during that time, but I think every year, we've seen a weak first quarter with pickup in the second and third quarter," Webman added. "Friday's numbers mean we're on track for that."

The economy added 223,000 nonfarm positions in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said, largely in line with economists' forecasts.

The jobs numbers are scrutinized particularly carefully by investors this year, as the Federal Reserve prepares for its first rate hike since 2006. Short-term interest rates have remained near zero for more than six years in an effort to boost economic growth following the 2008 financial crisis.

Although weak employment gains could push the central bank to delay raising rates until 2015, Webman said a September rate hike looks reasonable, adding that the Fed doesn't want to be accused of keeping rates too low for too long.

"The Fed says they are data-dependent, but I think the Fed will take the risk of beginning to tighten, even though we're seeing these 'neither here nor there' kinds of [jobs] numbers," Webman said.

Meanwhile, wage growth still remains lackluster, with average hourly earnings rising 2.2% over the past year.

"It's a little over the rate of inflation, so that means the average worker is getting a little bit more purchasing power," Webman said. The consumer price index, excluding food and energy, rose 1.8% over the past year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

Another wage-growth gauge, the employment cost index, is starting to inch higher, rising 0.7% during the first three months of 2015, compared with a 0.5% jump during the fourth quarter of 2014, the statistics bureau said in a report last week.

Over the past year, the index is up 2.6%, as of the first quarter. That compares with 2.2% during the fourth quarter of 2014.

"We still have a lot of room to grow," Webman said. "That's the bright side of this slow growth story."

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