Research - MARCH 9, 2018

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U.S. adds 313,000 jobs in February

by Loretta Clodfelter

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 313,000 jobs in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent. The stronger showing than in recent months is an indication the country has not yet reached full employment.

“The jobs report is a great one — workers are being pulled back in from the sidelines and it isn’t taking much higher wages to attract them,” said economist Betsey Stevenson, an associate professor at the University of Michigan, on Twitter.

It was another strong month for construction employment, which increased by 61,000 jobs; retail trade employment, which increased by 50,000 jobs; and professional and business services, which increased by 50,000 jobs. Other gaining categories were manufacturing (up 31,000), financial activities (up 28,000), healthcare (up 19,000) and mining (up 9,000).

Job growth has averaged 242,000 per month for the past three months.

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