US Economy Adds Only 20,000 Jobs in February, 2019

The US economy added only 20,000 jobs in February, the fewest number of jobs added since September 2017, according to preliminary numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier this month.

February’s low growth rate bucks the trend of large gains recorded each month. In January, the US economy added 311,000 jobs, while job growth averaged 223,000 per month in 2018.

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.8 percent while the number of unemployed persons decreased by 300,000 to 6.2 million. Employment in professional and business services, health care, and wholesale trade continued to trend up, while construction employment decreased.   

Slight revisions were made for December and January’s nonfarm payroll employment, jumping from 222,000 to 227,000 and 304,000 to 311,000 respectively. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were 12,000 more than previously reported.

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