By Susan McFarland – UPI
More than 300,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy last month and unemployment remained flat, labor statistics showed Friday.
The Labor Department outlined the gains in its February jobs report, which showed employment rose in the U.S. sectors of construction, retail, professional and business services, manufacturing, financial activities and mining.
The report said 313,000 workers were added to payrolls last month — an increase of more than 100,000 than were added for January.
Average hourly earnings in February were up 4 cents (to $26.75) following a 7-cent gain the month before. The average over the year shows an hourly increase of 68 cents. In the private sector, average earnings rose 6 cents ($22.40), Friday’s report said.
Complementing the job gains, unemployment in the United States remained low last month — at just 4.1 percent. The number of job seekers has stabilized in recent years, but last month showed a slight 0.3 percent increase from January.
The department said African-American unemployment fell to 6.9 percent, after rising to 7.7 percent in January. Unemployment among Caucasians dropped to 3.5 percent.
Last week, the Labor Department reported jobless claims in the United States fell to their lowest level in nearly 50 years. New claims fell by about 10,000, the data showed — the lowest level since Dec. 6, 1969.