US employers added 262,000 workers to their payrolls in February, according to the latest figures from the government’s Labour Department.
That is the largest rise since last October. The job gain in February was in contrast to the previous three months when the figures were less than economists had forecast. However, the unemployment rate went up to 5.4%. In January it was 5.2%, which was its lowest level in three years. That is due to an increase in the number of workers entering the labour force. US manufacturers added 20,000 workers, their biggest increase since August. Construction jobs increased by 30,000, reflecting an improvement in outdoor working conditions after severe cold weather in January. The figures will reasure the US Federal Reserve that the US economy is growing steadily. As a result, economists expect the Fed to raise its benchmark interest rate by 0.25% to 2.75%, when it meets next on 22 March.