The US unemployment rate rose slightly in February. But employers created more jobs than many economists had expected.
The latest data from the Labor Department shows the jobless rate stood at 6.7 percent. That’s up 0.1 percentage point from January.
Meanwhile, the number of people employed in sectors other than agriculture rose by 175,000 from the month before. Analysts had expected about 150,000 new jobs.
In December, the non-farm payroll increased by 84,000 and in January, by 129,000. The weakness was due to extremely cold weather across the country.
By sector, there were employment gains in education, health care and construction. But in retail, employment declined in February.
The jobs data is important for the Federal Reserve to decide its monetary policy. The US central bank will hold its policy meeting on March 18th.
Fed policymakers decided to start winding down their bond-buying program last December.