US nonfarm payroll employment grew at a faster pace than expected in February, as some 242,000 jobs were added.
The number of jobs added surpassed market expectations of around 190,000, though the US Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9 per cent.
Employment gains occurred in healthcare, social assistance, retail trade, food services, drinking places and private educational services, though the troubled mining sector continued to shed jobs.
Economist Justin Wolfers said via social media: “Jobs growth has averaged 228,000 over the past three months. There has been a lot of talk about recession risks, but this is an economy with momentum.”
The employment increase for January was revised up from 151,000 to 172,000, while the change for December was also moved up, from 262,000 to 271,000.
But average hourly earnings declined by 3 cents to $25.35, following a 12 cent rise in January.