- April 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 4

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U.S. economy adds 273,000 jobs in February

by Loretta Clodfelter

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 273,000 jobs in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.5 percent. It is important to note, however, the report’s survey period reflected a time prior to the rise of concerns about the global spread and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19.

A strong economic base will help cushion the United States during a period of economic uncertainty, and the February employment situation reflects a robust and growing economy. In addition to the strong showing in February, total nonfarm payroll employment in January was revised upward by 48,000 to a gain of 273,000 jobs, and the December 2019 job gains were revised upward by 37,000 to 184,000.

By employment category, notable gains occurred in healthcare and social assistance, which increased by 57,000 jobs; food services and drinking places, which added 53,000 jobs; government, which added 45,000 jo

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