US adds 3, 13,000 jobs in February

Updated:6 months, 2 weeks ago IST

New Delhi, Mar 10 (ANI): U.S. employers added 3,13,000 jobs in February. That's the biggest increase in more than 1-1/2 years and was much more than economists had expected. What's more, the huge job increases didn't get investors nervous about inflation because average hourly earnings growth slowed down. Wages inched up just 0.1 percent last month for an annual rate of 2.6 percent. That points to a gradual growth in inflation. That'll probably do little to temper expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in March. But it could temper expectations it'll change its rate increase forecast to four hikes this year from three. Investors liked what they heard, driving stocks up at the market open Friday. Bond yields rose, too. Wunderlich Securities chief market strategist Art Hogan said, "It's a great jobs report across the board." The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent as more people entered the labor market. Employment gains were broad. Construction led the pack with 61,000 jobs, possibly helped by unseasonably mild weather. That was followed by retail and professional services.

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