The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just released their Employment Situation Summary for February, showing that the US economy added 175,000 jobs last month. This is higher than the last 3 month average of 129,000, but lower than the 12 month average of 189,000. The unemployment rate ticked up from 6.6% to 6.7%. Numbers for December and January were adjusted, with 25,000 more jobs in these months than were previously reported.
Employment grew in professional and business services and in wholesale trade, but declined in information. The professional and business services sector saw the highest growth, adding 75,000 jobs. Within this sector, accounting and bookeeping services employment increased the most, demonstrating that employers were likely still hiring for tax season in February. Leisure and hospitality continued to trend up, with food and drinking places adding the highest number of jobs in this sector. Other major sectors, construction and healthcare, experienced little or no change. The information industry lost 16,000 jobs last month, due to a decline in the motion picture and sound recording industry.
Along with these preliminary numbers for February, the BLS issued final job gains for January, increasing by +9,000, from +75,000 jobs to +84,000. February numbers also grew by 16,000, from 113,000 jobs to +129,000.