After a lower than forecast 193,000 new jobs reported in January,which was adjusted to 170,000, February’s total was higher than predicted by economists, according to Reuters. The jobless rate inched up from 4.7% in January to 4.8% for February, BLS data showed.
Most employment sectors reported an increase in the number of new jobs in February. However the manufacturing sector was relatively unchanged with a 0.1% decrease in employment from the prior month.
In the goods-producing sector, construction employment increased by 41,000, while specialty trade contractors added 32,000 new jobs in February. Mining added 5,000 jobs mostly due to support activities related to oil and gas.
In the service-producing sector, employment in education and health services rose by 47,000 in February. Health care employment continued to grow,up by 18,000. Job growth occurred in ambulatory health care services (11,000),which includes doctors’ offices and home health care, and in hospitals (6,000).Employment in private educational services increased by 23,000.
Employment in food services and drinking places increased by 21,000 in February, while employment was flat in both wholesale and retail trade.
Professional and business services employment continued to trend upin February (39,000). Over the month, employment rose by 13,000 in services to buildings and dwellings. Temporary help services employment was little changed overthe month.