Hiring during February increased in the U.S. to the tune of 236,000 new jobs that helped lower the unemployment rate to just 7.7% from the previous month’s 7.9%.
Many analysts said that the surge in hiring was an indication that businesses have become more confident about what is happening in the economy despite the fact taxes are higher and the government is cutting spending.
The federal report on employment released on Friday was full of encouraging details. With the drop in the unemployment rate, it now has reached its lowest point in more than four years and hiring has averaged more than 200,000 new jobs monthly since November.
Wages also increased overall in February. Jobs gains for the month were not in just one sector but were broad based and were led by construction hiring, which enjoyed its best month of hiring in the last six years.
There was one negative part of the report. Employers added fewer new jobs during January than had been first thought. The job gains for January were readjusted lower to only 119,000 from the initial report of more than 157,000. Nevertheless, hiring in December was better than originally thought with the adjusted amount increased to 219,000 from the original 196,000.
Unemployment was glued to a rate of 7.8% or higher since last September. Close to 50% of February’s decline in the rate came from more unemployed people finding new jobs. A drop in the amount of people not looking for jobs accounted for the other 50%. People who do not look for employment are not counted as being unemployed.
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