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US Economy Beats Expectations, Adds Nearly 700,000 Jobs

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Ailan Evans Associate Editor
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The U.S. economy added 678,000 jobs in February, according to a Friday report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), beating economists’ expectations.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 678,000 in February, according to the BLS report, while the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, a pandemic low. Job gains were most pronounced in the leisure and hospitality sectors, which added a total 179,000 jobs.

“The labor market continues to be quite hot,” Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed, told The Wall Street Journal. “It looks like the labor market is still primed for lots of strong employment growth.”

February’s job growth significantly exceeded economists’ expectations, with the Dow Jones predicting that the U.S. economy would add roughly 440,000 jobs in the month, CNBC reported.

“The labor market is tightening pretty fast, and there’s no end in sight to strong wage growth,” Ethan Harris, head of global economics at Bank of America, told CNBC. “It’s still going to be a very tight labor market…and our guess is wage inflation stays close to 6% throughout the year.”

The employment growth in February is significantly higher than that of January, when the U.S. economy added just 467,000 j0bs amid the ongoing spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

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