The U.S. economy added 235,000 new jobs in February, accordingto the jobs report released by the Bureau of LaborStatistics Friday.
The labor force participation rate rose to 63 percent duringPresident Donald Trump’s full first month in office, up from 62.9percent in January.
The 235,000 jobs figure beat Wall Street expectations of 196,000. Theunemployment rate decreased slightly from January, tickingdown from 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent.
The Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates, withChairwoman Janet Yellen asserting that if the report metexpectations, an interest rate hike would be “appropriate.(RELATED: A Positive Jobs Report Could MeanInterest Rate Hike)
“At our meeting later this month, the committee will evaluatewhether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in linewith our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of thefederal funds rate would likely be appropriate,” Yellen said duringa March 3 address at a business luncheon inChicago.
The Fed increased rates for the second time in a decade inDecember, but didn’t raise the interest rate during its firstmeeting under the Trump administration. The next meeting is March14.
The sectors that saw the greatest job growth includedconstruction, private educational services and manufacturing.Construction rose by 58,000 in February and by 177,000 overthe past six months. The private educational servicessector added 29,000 jobs.
Employment in mining increased by 8,000 in February, with mostof the gains coming in support activities for mining.
Retail trade employment dropped by 26,000 in February, likelydue to the end of the holiday shopping season. Employment in othermajor industries, including wholesale trade, transportation andwarehousing, information, financial activities, leisure andhospitality, and government showed little or no change in February,according to the report.
Hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrollsincreased by 6 cents to $26.09.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December wasrevised down from 157,000 to 155,000 jobs and the change fromJanuary was revised up from 227,000 to 238,000.
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