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U.S. adds 235,000 jobs in February

by Loretta Clodfelter

Total U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, “little unchanged,” according to BLS, from the 4.8 percent recorded in January. Most employment categories trended upward in February, with a big bump for construction employment, which saw an increase of 58,000 jobs, including 36,000 jobs for specialty trade contractors and 15,000 jobs in civil engineering construction. In the past six months, construction has added 177,000 jobs, reports BLS. The rise in construction jobs reflects the expanding development pipeline. The Dodge Momentum Index, which is a leading indicator of construction spending for nonresidential building, advanced 1.6 percent in February, including a 4.4 percent increase in institutional building and a 0.3 percent decrease in commercial building. Job gains were also seen in manufacturing (28,000 jobs), healthcare (27,000 jobs), and p

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