U.S. Economy Adds 20K Jobs in February for Weakest Gain in 17 Months
Friday, March 08, 2019
The weak gain comes one month after the U.S. added 304,000 jobs in January, its biggest job increase in almost a year.
The national unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent.
Weak Month for Job Gains
February marked the worst month for job gains since September of 2017.
According to the Labor Department, there was an increase of 198,000 in those not in the labor force, while, those unemployed dropped by 3000,000.
The jobless rate for Hispanics fell to 4.3 percent from the January number of 4.9 percent, while the rate for African-Americans went up two-tenths of a point to seven percent.
Professional and business services had the highest level of job creation, with 42,000 new positions.
Healthcare added 21,000 and wholesale trade went up 11,000.
Construction lost 31,000 jobs in the month.
Government jobs decreased by 5,000.
Despite the weakest gain in 17 months, average hourly earnings increased by 3.4 percent.
According to CNBC, economists had been expecting a wage increase of 3.2 percent.
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