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08.03.2019 21:45

U.S. nonfarm payrolls increases less than expected in February

The U.S. Labor Department announced on Friday that nonfarm payrolls increased by 20,000 in February after an upwardly revised 311,000 gain in the prior month (originally an increase of 304,000). 

According to the report, employment continued to trend up in professional and business services (+42,000 jobs), health care (+21,000), and wholesale trade (+11,000), while construction (-31,000) employment declined.

At the same time, the unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage point to 3.8 percent in February, which was the lowest jobless rate since November 2018. 

Economists had forecast 180,000 new jobs and the jobless rate to fall to 3.9 percent. 

The labor force participation rate remained at 63.2 percent in February, while hourly earnings for private-sector workers rose 0.4 percent m-o-m (11 cents) to $27.66, following an unrevised 0.1 percent m-o-m gain in January. Economists had forecast a 0.3 percent m-o-m advance in the average hourly earnings. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.4 percent. 

The average workweek decreased by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours in February. Economists had forecast the average workweek to be unchanged at 34.5 hours.



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