U.S. Adds 242,000 Jobs in February 2016

Words: Dan KamysPayrolls are growing but wages aren’t, according to the latest monthly employment report released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Construction made a strong showing, though a dip in overall wages questions a tightening labor market. The U.S. economy added 242,000 private, non-farm, seasonally adjusted payroll positions in February, beating analysts' expectations and recovering from a slowdown in growth during January. This month’s positive report continues the longest run of monthly employment gains on record at 72 months, The New York Times reports, but the slight decline in wages from January stands to counter the notion that employees will benefit from a tightening market as businesses compete for fewer available workers and could, more generally, slow consumer spending. The national unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent. The previously reported payroll gains of 151,000 for January were revised up to 172,000. December’s addition of 262,000 was changed to 271,000. Construction continued its upward trend in February, adding 19,000 jobs. Overall, the sector has added 253,000 payroll positions in the last 12 months, with residential specialty trade contractors accounting for roughly half of that growth. Manufacturing lost 16,000 jobs in February, while the architectural and engineering services subsector kept pace with the downward-revised December and January figures at 1,400 jobs added in February.
Hallie Busta is an associate editor of products and technology at ARCHITECT, Architectural Lighting, and Residential Architect. Follow her on Twitter at @HallieBusta.
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